Paul Cézanne
Bridge across the Marne at Créteil (Banks of the Marne). 1888-1895

The picture, which shows a spot on the Ile-de-France near the villages of Créteil and Puteaux with an old bridge over the Marne, represents a landmark in Cézanne's landscape painting. The mirror-like surface of the river seems transfixed, the bridge in the distance firm and eternal, while the forester's lodge on the bank resembles a large crystal and the trees rise up like carved statues. There are no people in Cézanne's landscapes. The landscape here is dominated by solidified space. The artist compresses time, uniting past and present, and mixing foreground and background, depriving the spectator of a single vantage point for viewing the landscape. At the same time he directs the movement of the spectator's eye round the picture rhythmically, highlighting the logic and harmony of the universe.

Paul Cézanne

1839–1906