What follows is a somewhat revised version of a public conversation held on March 7 of this year between Terry Winters and me at the opening of the exhibition Cézanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings at the Princeton University Art Museum. The exhibition, of which I was the curator, was on view for only one week before it was forced to close in the face of the pandemic. Nobody yet knows when it may open.
The subject of the exhibition is a group of paintings by Cézanne—small in number; large in importance—of rock formations, most of them made on wooded slopes, some at the bottom of an abandoned quarry. “In order to paint a landscape well,” Cézanne said to a friend, “I first need to discover its geological foundations.” This group of paintings embodies the process of that discovery from his early years, as a young artist in the mid-1860s, almost to the end of his life in 1906. Focus upon these works affords intimate access to the evolution and workings of an artistic practice unmatched in its importance for the future development of modern art. The exhibition was developed on the principle that it is precisely from concentrated attention on a set of related objects that we come closest to what the art historian Michael Baxandall called “the picturing mind at work.”
When I asked my friend Terry Winters if he would have a public conversation with me on the occasion of the exhibition’s opening, it was with the understanding that we would talk about Cézanne’s picturing mind as specifically revealed in works in the exhibition. Therefore, we agreed that each of us would choose a number of such works, plus some comparative ones. I would begin by talking about my set, with Terry responding; then vice-versa. The number has been somewhat reduced here for the purposes of publication, but it is still larger than customary for contributions to the Rail; hence the unusual layout.
Those interested in learning more about this subject may wish to consult the publication that accompanies the exhibition, which illustrates and discusses all of Cézanne’s some two-dozen paintings of rock and quarry subjects, plus related watercolors; not only those shown in the exhibition. Details of it and of on-line accompaniments to the exhibition may be found on princeton.edu. Details of all of Cézanne’s known works may be found in the extraordinary online catalogue raisonné: cezannecatalogue.com.
And anyone who wishes to visit the Bibémus Quarry, one of the sites of the paintings discussed here, or Cézanne’s final studio in Aix-en-Provence—when they reopen—should contact aixenprovencetourism.com or cezanne-en-provence.com. Captions for all images are listed at the foot of the article.
John Elderfield: Let me begin with Cézanne, photographed in 1904 by the critic Émile Bernard, when Cézanne was sixty-four, looking a little the worse for wear (fig. 1). (You can see in the background a vague image of the Bathers pictures he was working on.) By this time, Cézanne was reunited with the Catholic Church and went for mass every Sunday to Saint-Sauveur, the great cathedral in Aix-en-Provence; and he insisted that Émile Bernard went with him. Cézanne always sat underneath this great fifteenth-century painting by Nicolas Froment, The Burning Bush (fig. 2). Bernard said later, “It’s uncanny how Moses looks just like Cézanne.” He had, in fact, developed what Lawrence Gowing called “the Moses syndrome,” feeling that he would eventually get to the promised land although it always seemed just out of reach.
A major early landmark in that direction was the journey from Aix-en-Provence to nearby L’Estaque that the twenty-six-year-old Cézanne made in 1866 in the company of a seven-year-younger friend, Antoine-Fortuné Marion, who was already absorbed in geology. Marion would give his first academic paper on the subject at the end of the year in a conference at Aix; and this image (fig. 3) is from the presentation that he made.
One of the small oil sketches that Cézanne painted in L’Estaque is in the exhibition (fig. 4). So are facsimiles of pages from one of Cézanne’s early sketchbooks, which Terry is showing later, in which Marion made drawings of strata to explain to his friend the layering of rocks beneath the earth’s surface. Cézanne’s oil sketch shows how he is interested in the relationship between the materiality of this kind of subject and the materiality of painting—how art and nature are both material—and that his task as a painter was to bring together these different kinds of materiality, composing a painting like a layer of stratified rocks.
Terry Winters: Right from the beginning, with this small landscape. It’s painted with a palette knife, which is basically a small trowel. There’s a workmanlike quality. Each painting is built, brick by brick. Like masonry. So the surfaces are an array of marks and tracks—there’s always evidence of a brush or knife being drawn across the surface. The image of Marion’s (fig. 3) is a lithograph. In terms of geology and printing, the 19th century was a second stone age. Lithography replaced woodcut and engraving as the favored print medium. It was faster and cheaper. So that beautiful image of Marion’s specimens was originally drawn on a piece of limestone and reproduced many times.
Elderfield: Those who do get to see the exhibition will see that in the first gallery five of the sketchbook pages with explanation of the geological strata to which Marion’s inscriptions refer. And the catalogue includes an essay and appendix by independent scholar Faya Causey, which gives far more information about this. One of the pleasures of working on the show was to be involved in this kind of investigation: to try to understand how Cézanne’s relationship with Marion developed; the different sites they likely visited together; how Cézanne’s own understanding of geology advanced; of sites they saw together.
To compare the early L’Estaque oil sketch (fig. 4) with a very late canvas painted in the Bibémus Quarry (fig. 5) is to see that the materiality of the picture surface, and the conception of painting as the creation of a homogenous surface, runs all the way through Cézanne’s career. As one goes through the exhibition, one sees that after the early work in L’Estaque, his first more mature paintings of rocks, also made there, were painted at a distance from the motif. The materiality is there. The sense of layering is there. But the subject is further away from you. And, as you move along and see the works done at Fontainebleau, and then particularly those at the Bibémus Quarry and Château Noir, you see that Cézanne is getting closer and closer to the surface—physically closer to the motif when he’s making the paintings. And I think this is very apparent in the way in which the surface of the paintings are marked. There are some cases where there seems to be a clear analogy between the marking of the individual brushstrokes and the marks on the rocks at which he is looking. And I know Terry’s going to talk more about this later—but do you want to say anything now?
Winters: Regarding this late canvas (fig. 5), as John explains in his essay, [Ambroise] Vollard didn’t actually know which way to hang the painting. It was difficult to determine the orientation. And the picture is shocking. Maybe it’s no longer “the shock of the new,” but it still delivers the shock of the now. The painting is present. And all of the paintings in the exhibition have a tangible, material presence. Thrilling when combined with a compelling painted image. There’s a “harmony” when that happens.
Elderfield: Vollard ultimately decided that work should be hung as it is shown now because of the little area in the top right corner, which he concluded must be the sky. But it’s interesting that the art historian John Rewald, who did more than anyone to establish Cézanne scholarship, was with Vollard, the dealer who had seen more Cézannes than anyone else, when he was actually turning the picture around, saying, “Do we like it that way? Or should it be this way?” They weren’t sure, but made the right decision. As we see it now, the material presence of the representation is enhanced by the juxtaposition of the stepping form in the top right, which represents cut parts of the quarry, and the convex slope of perhaps looser material that slides down to the bottom edge of the painting. It also tells us that Cézanne himself was well down in the quarry when he made this painting.
The basic principle Cézanne would have learned about geology was of stratification—the layering of rocks beneath the surface—and that, beginning with the surface, in present time, as one goes further and further down, one is going further and further into the past. However, when Cézanne was going down into the Bibémus Quarry, he was also going in the other direction in time: At the top was the part that had been quarried by the Romans when they first opened the quarry; then, moving down, came the part that was quarried starting in the 17th century to provide the stone for buildings in Aix; and, finally reaching the bottom, Cézanne was both in the present and the distant past. Anybody who’s been there will attest to how absolutely unusual it feels.
Here are two other late paintings, the great canvas from Baltimore (fig. 6), and the great canvas in the Pearlman Collection (fig. 7). They are associated in that the image of Montagne Sainte-Victoire in the former somewhat resembles the large rock among the trees in the latter, the kind of rock that Marion had published back in the late 1860s (see fig. 3). And they are different in how their layering is organized. In the Baltimore painting, the layers are collapsed on top of each other: the sky sits on the mountain; the mountain sits on the quarry; the trees appear pasted on the quarry wall, in places their slender trunks indistinguishable from the cracks in the quarry face itself. The layers are also compressed in the Pearlman painting, but you see them separately and are invited to read them not top-to-bottom as in the Baltimore canvas, but front-to-back: from the foreground tripod across from the rock that mirrors it, but without a pointed top; to the pair of trees; to the repeated triangle of the rock behind them; and to the repeated trees in the screen of forest at the back. An extraordinary piece of composition by analogy between like and unlike forms.
Winters: I’ve never seen Montagne Sainte-Victoire so clearly as a big rock, as a single stone. Somehow, now it’s both an object and an event. So that’s something I’ve taken from this show, that’s clearer to me—Cézanne’s deep connection to geology. And how the paintings are built like the land. In layers of abstraction. At every scale.
Elderfield: Included both in the exhibition and its catalogue, are some of the black-and-white photographs of the sites that Cézanne painted taken in the 1930s by John Rewald or the painter-critic Erle Loran, and they flatten the scene as black-and-white photography does. But these images have become iconic in discussion of Cézanne’s landscapes, so I thought it would be informative to look at recent color photographs of the sites. This one (fig. 8), taken by Faya Causey, resembles the little-known, extraordinary painting from Memphis (fig. 9).
And this one (fig. 10), which I took in the grounds of the Château Noir, shows the kind of terrain that we see in the beautiful, dark canvas from the National Gallery, London (fig. 11). But when you see the color photographs, you see that they resemble the paintings less than do black-and-white photographs, which flatten the scene, as Cézanne’s paintings do. My point here is not that Cézanne was influenced by black-and-white photography—although he almost certainly was—but that we see in the comparisons with the color photographs how drastically Cézanne brought everything up to the material surface.
Terry Winters: Everything is painted with the same substance, And in a sense, there’s an equalization between the stone and the sky, that they’re physically comparable. There’s a similar density, a kind of unity.
Elderfield: And also, in terms of the similarity of substance, we know that the red soil of Provence was used for a component of paint. We don’t know whether it’s the kind of paint that Cézanne used, but the idea of a painting done with a substance analogous to what is being painted is something that people in Provence would have noticed in these works.
Winters: It’s inescapable. Basically, paint is colored mud. Especially those specific earth colors, the clays and ochres. That range of color between the yellow and red pigments matches the color of the building stone in Aix. It’s similar material, the same stuff.
Elderfield: Before going on, it needs saying that the Château Noir photograph shows a landscape that has changed enormously since Cézanne painted there. There was a forest fire, and when everything grew back, it returned in a more profuse form. But both the photograph and the London painting give one a sense of what it was like for Cézanne to work his way through a landscape like that when he painted. The London painting was made high in the grounds of the Château Noir, which rises up some twenty meters to a stone barrier at the top. Anyone who has visited there knows what a steep setting it is, and it isn’t at all easy to climb to the top where the rocks are at their densest. There are stories of Cézanne late in life having to go on his hands and knees to get to where he wanted to paint. I suppose it is possible that he painted some of these larger canvases in the room he rented in the manor house of Château Noir. But I find it fascinating to imagine Cézanne hauling up almost to the top of the site his meter-tall, wide rectangular canvas for the London painting, and all of his painting materials. No wonder he looks exhausted in some of his late photographs.
Winters: An occupational hazard. But again, the bit of sky in that painting is really just a slab of blue. The color is right there on the surface of the painting. It’s as physical as any of the rocks.
Elderfield: One thing that became clear, seeing Château Noir paintings together in the exhibition, is how different they are from each other, which raises interesting questions about what was painted where and the relative dates of them. There isn’t hard evidence to date them individually—Cézanne rarely signed and dated his works—so we gave a wide span of years for each of the works painted at one site that were clearly made sometime within that span. Anyone who has followed the literature on Cézanne knows how frequently authors try to explain what his style was in different periods. Clearly there are overall changes; but looking at the Château Noir paintings together made clear that he worked in differing ways in the same period. The London painting (fig. 11) is very different to the one from San Francisco and the one from the Musée d’Orsay (fig. 12), which is almost as thinly painted as a watercolor (fig. 13). One could be forgiven for thinking that the London painting is like a Picasso landscape from 1909. And it isn’t surprising that Matisse purchased the painting now at Orsay.
This is probably as good a moment as any to say that, while both Picasso and Matisse said that Cézanne was the father of us all, like all artistic fathers, he is not responsible for what his children do. In fact, what the children did was, of course, very different from what Cézanne did. Certainly, the common understanding that Cézanne’s principal impact was on the development of Cubism is hardly supportable. Working on this exhibition, I have felt even more that associating Cézanne with the increasingly reductive geometric painting of the early part of the twentieth century is a wrong understanding of his importance. His increasingly proximate views of rocks seem to take you to the epicenter of his art in so vividly binding their depicted surfaces to the literal surfaces of his paintings. That constituted the great Cézannean revolution. Not that Cézanne made Cubism possible.
Winters: It was almost a non-sequitur. In the same sense that Pop-art was a non-sequitur following Jasper Johns.
Winters: There’s a high degree of abstraction in Cézanne‘s approach. And it’s not reductive. That complicated quality was only picked up later, maybe more by Matisse than Picasso, and ultimately by de Kooning. John’s essay is titled “Excavations,” which can be seen as a reference to de Kooning. Excavation being de Kooning’s celebrated 1950 picture. So, there’s something about seeing this focused exhibition, this specific group of paintings—minus the portraits, minus the apples—where you can plainly see the painting process, and the gravity of Cézanne’s project. The paintings are radical for their moment, and relevant to ours.
Elderfield: Well, Terry and I did talk about whether we should include de Kooning and Pollock and other people in this conversation, but we decided that we would hope that anyone hearing what we’re saying would perhaps think of Pollock, who painted in layers, and of Cézanne’s importance for de Kooning’s Excavation which looks like a rock-face massively fractured in form.
And, looking at the watercolors, like this wonderful one from MoMA (fig. 13), we can see that Cézanne worked alternatively with a pencil and a brush: The result isn’t a drawing with watercolor applied to it, but lines as well as patches of color that are beneath as well as above the drawn lines, all intertwining. This work doesn’t look anything like a Pollock, but the method of working in layers and going back and forth between them is what you find in Pollock’s allover paintings.
The MoMA watercolor has the surprise of the very straight lines; and anyone who has painted outside knows that it can be difficult to draw very straight lines freehand, particularly out in the wind and in the weather. I have to believe that Cézanne used a straightedge of some kind when he worked; and wonder whether he placed one of his paintbrushes on the paper to use in that way. Starting to think that, I found myself looking in a very different way at the Metropolitan’s painting which Terry will speak about later (see fig. 21). At its center is a narrow diagonal sapling that is absolutely straight; and where it divides into two is a bunch of small marks that resemble the bristles of a brush. This may be just my fantasy that Cézanne put his paintbrush on the canvas to draw the sides of it and then painted it. But he was clearly working close to the canvas, so perhaps it is a marker of his own presence in the painting.
Winters: Yeah, he’s right there. When you are close, arm’s length, you’re in his actual workspace.
Elderfield: I should stop soon so Terry can take the lead; but first I want to mention two things. First, and quickly because it is well-known: the influence of the watercolors on the oils, the painting owned by Matisse, which we can see from the Orsay painting in comparison to the MoMA watercolor (figs. 12, 13). Second: The influence of sculpture on Cézanne’s paintings of rocks. This sculpture (fig. 14) is by Pierre Puget, a 17th-century baroque sculptor from Provence whom Cézanne idolized. Even enlightened critics like Charles Baudelaire didn’t like sculpture: he thought it was static and uninspiring. Cézanne thought that the baroque sculpture of Puget brought flesh to life, and he copied it in the Louvre (fig. 15). I have to wonder whether Cézanne had it somewhere in his mind when he made this watercolor (fig. 16). Rewald photographed the site in the 1930s, and his black-and-white image (fig. 17) flattens the space far more than did the color photographs we looked at earlier (see figs 8-11). Cézanne drastically compresses the pictorial space it even more, yet the drawing and shaping of the forms in space is sculptural in a manner that associates it with Puget.
Winters: In a way, the subject of the pictures is space—how is it built and how does it feel. That’s a big part of their power. And the physical surfaces of the paintings themselves are a kind of sculpture. A low-level relief. Even the thinness of the watercolors is a material or sculptural decision. I have a question: how does Rewald find that site to take that photograph? Obviously, it predates any computer manipulation.
Elderfield: Well, Rewald spent a long time in and around Aix-en-Provence looking for the sites that Cézanne painted, not only those that matched rock and quarry paintings. These are featured in the online catalogue raisonné.
Winters: I’m beginning with a couple of images from John’s essay, which is terrific and full of information and insights about Cézanne’s work and thinking process. This image is an arcadian scene of bathers by Courbet (fig. 18). And the Cézanne detail borrows the pose from Courbet (fig. 19). But Cézanne projects much further back in time where pastoral arcadia becomes archaic prehistory. A naked human figure touches a stone wall. It’s almost a reference to cave-painting, to the origins of painting. In a second pairing, the Courbet shows a classical rendering of a quarry (fig. 20). It depicts the stratification, the bed-lines, the layering of geologic material. This is an image of new scientific understanding—seeing a slice of earth as a picture of time. It’s all presented clearly in this Courbet painting. And in the Metropolitan canvas with the brush-like tree that John mentioned earlier, Cézanne transforms the painting itself into a laminated structure, a sequence of pictorial events (fig. 21), analogous to the Earth’s formation.
Elderfield: And the Courbet is actually a painting that was commissioned by a geologist who is just visible in the bottom of the painting, working. There is one Cézanne painting of Bibémus with a figure in it which unfortunately is not in the show. Having figures in geological subject-paintings, which of course had been done earlier in the 18th-century, was as commonplace as having sheep or goats to give a sense of scale to the landscape as a whole. Cézanne doesn’t do this. Which I think is one of the ways that he affects the transformation. You don’t have the people there, so you can’t really tell what the scale of this is.
Winters: Yes, viewers bring their own sense of scale, which can be open-ended and shifting. Are we seeing the painting as a specimen or as evidence of a larger natural event? Maybe both. Here is an image of a 300,000-year-old hand-axe (fig. 22). These artifacts were just being discovered in the countryside around Aix when Cézanne was painting. He was aware of these archeological discoveries, of these stone age objects. And here is a detail of one of his paintings that has a similar faceted surface (fig. 23). Hand axes were made by striking flint with a hammer rock. The facets are a consequence of the hammering process, and also of the physical qualities of the stone itself, its grain. I think that’s true for Cézanne’s paintings—you get a sense that he is mapping forces across the surface of the painting.
Elderfield: I would also suggest that each of the marks of the hand axe represents one movement. Each of the brushstrokes also represent one movement. Once, when he was asked what his method of painting was, he famously said, “one stroke after the next.”
Winters: And they’re all actual size.
Winters: Here are just a couple of images that I like from the notebooks. On one you can see a drummer-boy, a common figure from the Epiphany parade in Aix (fig. 24). And next to him is a trilobite! Scientific discoveries of the fossil record are happening while Cézanne is re-calibrating painting. I love that combination of images. At the bottom of the page and on the next (fig. 25) are diagrams of stratification and mountain formation; plate tectonics had not yet been discovered.
And this is the painting from the Nelson-Atkins (fig. 26). I really like that little yellow spot right in the center of the painting. Cézanne said that he was interested in making “a harmony parallel to nature,” and that’s really what this painting achieves. A becoming equivalent to nature. It’s not exactly a representation, it’s more like a reenactment. He’s constructing a parallel structure or situation. And he’s functioning in a lane adjacent to much non-Western art. Ananda Coomaraswamy claimed that for Indian artists “art is an imitation of nature in its manner of operation.” I think that’s Cézanne’s method also and each of his paintings generate an image of equivalence. Of parallel processing.
Elderfield: Since working on the catalog I came across this wonderful sentence from Fairfield Porter, a painter himself, who said that these sort of pictures “have presence albeit nothing stirs and they have no sound, they have the liveness of mushrooms.”
Winters: Well, mushrooms are the interface between life and death.
Winters: This sense of working in parallel allows Cézanne to generate images that resemble nature. There are shapes and forms that take on facial or figural characteristics that are not necessarily intended. De Kooning said that “even abstract shapes must have a likeness.” That idea originates with Cézanne. Abstract shapes have a likeness and they exist all throughout Cézanne’s paintings. As emergent pictures. In this painting, there’s a profile figure that appears (fig. 27). It references and plays off more deliberately anthropomorphic engravings (fig. 28).
Elderfield: I think this painting is really the only one of Cézanne’s that is explicitly anthropomorphic.
Winters: Yes, more intentional. And there’s this guy lying on his side.
Elderfield: Yes, a bodily reference, but also separate thing with its own order.
Elderfield: Beckett got it so right in what he wrote about Cézanne. “What a relief… after all the anthropomorphized landscape. Cézanne seems to have been the first to see landscape & state it as material of a strictly peculiar order, incommensurable with all human expressions whatsoever.” “Landscape had to be shown to be ‘unintelligible.’ Its dimensions are its secret & it has no communication to make.” [Therefore,] “the animizing mode…would have been false for him.”
Winters: I would just like to show a picture of actual limestone on the wall of a quarry (fig. 29) plus this miraculous watercolor (fig. 30).
Marcel Duchamp once said that the two founders of Modernism were Cézanne and Redon (fig. 31, 32). I can see what he means about the dual tracks of structural invention and symbolic resonance. And a final image, this picture—that I just love—of Cézanne sitting among the ferns (fig. 33). These prehistoric plants are among of the oldest living things on the planet. Somehow the perfect setting for this old master.
All works are by Paul Cézanne unless otherwise noted,
- Émile Bernard, Photograph of Paul Cézanne (detail), 1904.
- Nicolas Froment, The Burning Bush, tempera on wood, 1475-76. Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence. (Central panel of a triptych.)
- Antoine-Fortuné Marion, Plate from his paper, “Premières observations sur l’ancienneté de l’homme dans les Bouche-du-Rhône,” as published in the Congrès scientifique de France. Aix-en-Provence, 1867.
- Rocks at the Seashore, L’Estaque, ca. 1866. Oil on canvas, 22 × 32 cm. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Gift of Sam Salz, 1966.
- Rocks and Branches at Bibémus, 1900–1904. Oil on canvas, 61 × 50.5 cm. Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux‑Arts de la Ville de Paris, France.
- Montagne Sainte‑Victoire Seen from Bibémus, 1895–1900. Oil on canvas, 65.1 × 81.3 cm. The Baltimore Museum of Art. The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland.
- Cistern in the Grounds of Château Noir, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas. 74.3 × 61.0 cm. The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, on loan since 1976 to the Princeton University Art Museum.
- Photograph of a view on the Cengle side of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, 2019. Faya Causey.
- Trees and Rocks, 1900–1904. Oil on canvas, 61.9 × 51.4 cm. Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee. Museum purchase from Cornelia Ritchie and Ritchie Trust No. 4.
- Photograph of a view in the grounds of the Château Noir, 2019. John Elderfield.
- Rocks and Trees above Château Noir, 1900–1904. Oil on canvas, 90.7 × 71.4 cm. The National Gallery, London. Bought 1963.
- Rocks above Château Noir, 1900–1904. Oil on canvas, 65 × 54 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
- Rocks Near the Caves above Château Noir, 1895–1900. Watercolor and graphite on paper, 31.7 × 47.5 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lillie P. Bliss Collection.
- Pierre Puget, Perseus and Andromeda in the Puget room of the Musée du Louvre, after 1866.
- Perseus and Andromeda after Puget, 1879-82. Graphite on paper, 47 × 30.5. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich. On permanent loan from Ernst von Siemens Stiftung.
- Pine and Rocks near the Caves above Château Noir, 1895–1900. Watercolor and graphite on cream wove paper, 46.5 × 35.5 cm. Princeton University Art Museum. Anonymous gift.
- Photograph of the motif of Pine and Rocks near the Caves above Château Noir, ca. 1934. John Rewald Archives, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. © Sabine Rewald.
- Gustave Courbet, Bathers, 1853. Oil on canvas, 227 × 193 cm. Musée Fabre, Montpelier.
- Bather at a Rock, 1867-69 or earlier. Mural transferred to canvas, 167.5 × 113 cm. Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Vas. Gift of Walter P. Chrysler Jr.
- Gustave Courbet, The Rotten Rock: Geological Study, 1864. Oil on canvas, 60 × 75 cm. Musée de Beaux-Arts de Dole, France.
- Rocks at Fontainebleau, 1895–1900. Oil on canvas, 73.3 × 92.4 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929.
- Hand axe (France), 3000,000-yers-old. collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35520559/
- Rocks and Trees, 1900-04. Oil on canvas, 80 × 64 cm. Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (detail).
- Page 21a of the so-called Paris 1 carnet, 1857-71. Wove paper, 15 × 23 cm. Musée d’Orsay. Held in the Musée du Louvre (RF29949. 1-58).
- Page 27 of the Paris 1 carnet.
- Bibémus Quarry, 1895–1900. Oil on canvas, 65 × 54 cm. The Nelson‑Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of Henry W. and Marion H. Bloch.
- Rocks, 867-68. Oil on canvas 54.4 × 65 cm. Collection of François-Marc Durand, Paris.
- Wenceslas Hollar, Anthropormorphic engraving, 1646.
- Limestone cliffs. Photo: Barry Deakin. (cropped) Accessed on wikimedia commons.
- Rocks near the Caves above Château Noir, 1895-1900. Watercolor on paper, 31 × 47.5 cm. Private collection.
- In the Grounds of Château Noir, 1898–1900. Oil on canvas, 36 3/16 × 28 11/16 inches. Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
- Odilon Redon, I Plunged into Solitude. I Dwell in the Tree being Me, 1896.
- Charles Bodmer, Paul Cézanne in the Middle of Ferns in the Forest of Fontainebleau, 1894. Silver print, 12.4 × 7.5 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.