Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIMONE AND JEAN TIROCHE
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

Don Quichotte, vu de dos

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Don Quichotte, vu de dos
oil on canvas
8 7/8 x 6 5/8 in. (22.6 x 16.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1875
Possibly Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Gottlieb Friedrich Reber, Lausanne.
Galerie Thannhauser, Berlin.
Baron Eduard von der Heydt, Ascona, until at least 1940.
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, by 1949.
Paul Rosenberg, Paris & New York.
Mr & Mrs Joseph Weinstein, New York; sale, Christie's, New York, 16 May 1990, lot 325.
Acquired at the above sale, and thence by descent to the present owners.
J. Meier-Graefe, Cézanne und sein Kreis, Munich, 1918, p. 146 (illustrated).
G. Rivière, Le maître Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1923, p. 203.
K. Pfister, Cézanne, Gestalt, Werk, Mythos, Potsdam, 1927 (illustrated pl. 93).
R. Fry, 'Cézannes Udvikling', in Samleren, 1929, p. 129 (illustrated).
E. d'Ors, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1930 (illustrated pl. 37).
L. Venturi, Paul Cézanne, Son art - son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1936, no. 244, p. 119 (illustrated vol. II, no. 244, pl. 66).
G. di San Lazzaro, Paul Cézanne, Paris, 1938 (illustrated fig. 52).
I. Dunlop & S. Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Cézanne, New York, 1972, no. 262 (illustrated p. 98).
J. Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, New York, 1996, no. 239, p. 170 (illustrated vol. II, no. 239, p. 78).
F. Fowle & R. Thomson, Soil and Stone: Impressionism, Urbanism, Enviroment, Aldershot, 2003, p. 142.
Berlin, Galerie Thannhauser, Erste Sonderausstellung, January - February 1927, no. 20 (illustrated).
Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Monticelli et le Baroque Provençal, May - July 1953, no. 15.
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Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas
Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas

Lot Essay

Painted circa 1875, Don Quichotte, vu de dos is a rare picture by Paul Cézanne whose importance is reflected in its inclusion in several seminal early publications on the artist as well as by its forming part of several highly prominent collections over the years. Perhaps it is because of its bold brushwork, which is almost planar in its means of depicting the forms of the riders, that Gottfried Friedrich Reber owned it - he was also one of the greatest collectors of Cubism. The picture was also owned by Baron Eduard von der Heydt, whose extensive collections would come to form important parts of a number of museum collections including the Wuppertal institution which to this day bears his family's name.

Despite dating from the period of Cézanne's increasing involvement with Impressionism and just after the group's first exhibition, in which his own works featured, Don Quichotte, vu de dos does not show an outdoor scene of nature and light, but instead riders and other people in what appears to be a historicised setting. The main rider, with a long gun slung across his back, has traditionally been identified as Don Quixote, the great anti-hero of Cervantes' celebrated masterpiece. The association between this picture and another showing a rider from the front (R 238), dates back to at least 1918, when Julius Meier-Graefe included them in his important early monograph on the artist, Cézanne und sein Kreis. Don Quixote is also identified by various authors in another earlier painting, while Sancho is identified, in part doubtless because of his donkey, in a slightly later work, Scène légendaire of around 1878. By contrast, a watercolour which shows a closely-related composition is titled by Rewald as Esquisse de cavaliers, only tentatively mentioning Don Quixote and pointing out that the scene, if indeed related to that tale, is tangential to it (no. 52). By contrast, a related drawing is referred to by Chappuis as 'Men on Horseback' (C 253). Intriguingly, the drawing features a figure clinging to the branches of the tree to the right, as though waiting in ambush. In it, the weapon of the main mounted figure is also clearly a rifle, rather than the lance, soon broken, with which Don Quixote is associated.

Looking at Don Quichotte, vu de dos, the viewer could see this as a response to the pictures of Don Quixote by Honoré Daumier, or more probably those by Adolphe Monticelli, the older artist whom Cézanne had befriended in the 1860s and with whom he often worked. Cézanne often responded to the works of his friends, contemporaries and indeed predecessors, visiting the Louvre when in need of inspiration. As a restless pioneer, he was also compared to Don Quixote in his own right in the memoirs of the legendary dealer Ambroise Vollard, who may have been the first owner of this picture (A. Vollard, Recollections of a Picture Dealer, trans. V.M. MacDonald, New York, 2002, p. 265).

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