‘La Vie des Champs’ by Paul Cézanne acquired for the national collection by the National Gallery of Ireland

Paul Cézanne, La Vie des Champs, 1876-77Credit

An exquisite work by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), a foundational figure for modern art, has become part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. It is the first painting by Cézanne to enter the national collection.

La Vie des Champs (“Life in the Fields”) was completed in 1877 in Cézanne’s native Provence, in Southern France. It depicts a vibrant, imaginary landscape with a woman carrying a water jug upon her head in the centre. This significant picture, which now belongs to the people of Ireland, has been purchased by the Gallery with generous and special support from the Government of Ireland and a private philanthropic donation.

The acquisition of La Vie des Champs represents a major addition to the National Gallery of Ireland’s holdings of late nineteenth-century European art. The painting’s beauty and combination of art-historical references with technical brilliance will undoubtedly make it a public favourite. Its acquisition enables the Gallery to present an important but little-known work by a significant figure in Western art, making connections to the Irish and international art already in the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection. 

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, commented: “I wish to commend the work of the National Gallery in securing this wonderful painting for our National Collection. La Vie des Champs is a magnificent addition to the National Gallery and will now be on free display for all to enjoy.  The acquisition also highlights the important role of philanthropy for the National Gallery and hopefully will encourage other donations to our National Cultural Institutions. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to Sean Rainbird, former Director of the Gallery, for the critical role he played in securing this important work.”

Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dr Caroline Campbell commented: “This painting by Paul Cézanne, made at a turning point in his career, is a work of international importance. The National Gallery of Ireland is exceptionally grateful to the Government of Ireland for recognising the significance of this painting for the national collection and supporting the acquisition. The purchase would not have been possible without this commitment, alongside the very generous support of a great friend and supporter of the Gallery who wishes to remain anonymous. Philanthropic gifts such as these support the future of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the growth of our national collection. Cézanne’s work has particularly appealed to other artists, and I hope that this acquisition will help to inspire creativity in Ireland, as well as philanthropy”.

La Vie des Champs is on display in Rooms 1-5 of the National Gallery of Ireland’s Millennium Wing. Entry to the national collection is free for all to learn and be inspired. 

About La Vie des Champs
La Vie des Champs (“Life in the Fields”) was completed in 1877, the year in which Cézanne decided to show his work with the Impressionists again, following an absence of three years.  It dates from a pivotal moment in Cézanne’s career, and is an important early example of how he developed what became his signature style. 

This picture sees Cézanne depart from the darker, violent and thickly painted manner seen in his earlier paintings, and move towards a lighter, more colourful palette, using parallel brush strokes to convey sensations, as well as fully exploiting the possibilities of perspective and distance. These characteristics became the distinctive components of Cézanne’s work, and they have been at the heart of his appeal for artists of his day and beyond. Compositionally, the painting’s focus is the silhouette of a statuesque woman carrying a water jug upon her head. She is set against a background of verdant plant life, and a flowing stream, with vibrant yellow-green grass beneath her feet. A villa perches on top of the lush hill that takes up the central horizontal section of the painting. Here Cézanne’s use of broad brushstrokes, careful gradations of tone and colour, and compression of space anticipate his later, even more radical pictorial experiments.  

Although La Vie des Champs was painted in Provence, it was conceived as an imaginary scene and not a depiction of a specific landscape (unlike the National Gallery of Ireland’s only other work by Cézanne, the watercolour drawing of Montagne Sainte Victoire from Les Lauves, near Aix-en-Provence, NGI.3300, dated 1902-04). It is part of a group of paintings produced by Cézanne in the mid-1870s that translate the atmosphere of Southern France into a timeless vision of Arcadia. These pictures owe a debt to the work of earlier French painters, including Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, who are represented in the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection. Importantly, La Vie des Champs demonstrates how Cézanne was both radical and inspired by the past. 

La Vie des Champs was first owned by Cézanne’s champion, the renowned Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939). It has not been exhibited publicly since 1996, when it featured in the Philadelphia showing of the major touring exhibition, ‘Cézanne’, organised by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tate, and the Grand Palais, Paris.

About Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839. The eldest of three children, he grew up in a well-to-do family. Cézanne first studied literature and law in accordance with his father’s wishes, but soon abandoned his legal career to study painting. He moved to Paris and studied at the Académie Suisse from 1862.
In many respects, Cézanne was the first artist to explore abstraction in Western painting. In doing so, he paved the way for a new representation of perspective and space. Reflecting on Cézanne’s career, Henri Matisse referred to him ‘the father of us all’, acknowledging his impact on the artists who succeeded him. Cézanne gained positive attention relatively late in his artistic career. A major turning point came when Ambroise Vollard staged his first solo exhibition of Cézanne’s work in 1895, when the artist was fifty-six years old, providing an opportunity for him to show his true achievements.

Notes to Editor:

Images are available on request.
•    Mark Stedman will release photocall images to media, later today.
•    To download a JPG of the artwork and image credit, see https://we.tl/t-gF2rlFCUdd 

Images subject to copyright please credit as follows: 
Information about the work:
•    Artist: Paul Cézanne
•    Title: La Vie des Champs     
•    Date: 1876-77
•    Medium: Oil on canvas
•    Dimensions: 27.6 x 35.2 cm
Purchased, 2022, with special support from the Government of Ireland and a generous contribution from a private donor.
For more information about how to support the National Gallery of Ireland with philanthropy, contact Maria Noonan, Head of Development at [email protected]
About the National Gallery of Ireland: 
The National Gallery of Ireland is one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired.


12 Bealtaine 2023: Ceannaíonn Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann ‘La Vie des Champs’ le Paul Cézanne don bhailiúchán náisiúnta 

Is le muintir na hÉireann anois mórshaothar an Ghailearaí, le tacaíocht ó Rialtas na hÉireann agus ón Daonchairdeas

Tá saothar fíorálainn le Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), pearsa tábhachtach san ealaín nua-aimseartha, anois mar chuid de bhailiúchán Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Is é seo an chéad phictiúr le Cézanne a cuireadh isteach sa bhailiúchán náisiúnta.

Críochnaíodh La Vie des Champs ("An Saol sna Páirceanna") in 1877 in Provence, áit dhúchas Cézanne, i nDeisceart na Fraince. Léirítear ann tírdhreach geal samhailteach agus bean ag iompar crúiscín uisce ar a ceann sa lár. Cheannaigh an Gailearaí an pictiúr suntasach seo do mhuintir na hÉireann le tacaíocht fhlaithiúil agus speisialta ó Rialtas na hÉireann agus bronntanas príobháideach daonchairdis.

Cuireann La Vie des Champs go mór le bailiúchán ealaíne Eorpach Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann ó dheireadh na naoú haoise déag. Is cinnte go dtaitneoidh áilleacht an phictiúir agus an meascán de thagairtí ealaíne-stairiúla le hardchumas teicniúil go mór leis an bpobal. Cuireann ceannach an phictiúir seo ar chumas an Ghailearaí saothar tábhachtach a chur i láthair nach bhfuil mórán aithne ag daoine air le duine mór le rá in ealaín an Iarthair, ag déanamh ceangal leis an ealaín Éireannach agus idirnáisiúnta atá i mbailiúchán Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann cheana féin. 

Dúirt an tAire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán, Catherine Martin TD: “Molaim an Gailearaí Náisiúnta go mór as an bpictiúr iontach seo a fháil dár mBailiúchán Náisiúnta. Cuirfidh La Vie des Champs go mór leis an nGailearaí Náisiúnta agus beidh sé ar taispeáint saor in aisce anois do chách. Léiríonn an ceannach seo an ról tábhachtach atá ag an daonchairdeas don Ghailearaí Náisiúnta freisin agus táthar ag súil go spreagfaidh sé síntiúis eile dár bhForais Náisiúnta Cultúir. Gabhaim buíochas ó chroí freisin le Sean Rainbird, iar-Stiúrthóir an Ghailearaí, as an ról ríthábhachtach a bhí aige i gceannach an saothar tábhachtach seo.”

Dúirt Stiúrthóir Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, an Dr Caroline Campbell: “Is saothar a bhfuil tábhacht idirnáisiúnta ag baint leis an pictiúr seo le Paul Cézanne, a rinneadh ag cor cinniúnach ina ghairm bheatha. Tá Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann fíorbhuíoch de Rialtas na hÉireann as tábhacht na péintéireachta seo don bhailiúchán náisiúnta a aithint agus as é a cheannach. Ní bheadh ceannach an phictiúir seo indéanta gan tiomantas an Rialtais, mar aon le tacaíocht an-fhlaithiúil ó dhlúthchara agus ó thacadóir iontach an Ghailearaí arbh fhearr leo gan a ainm a thabhairt. Tacaíonn bronntanais daonchairdiúla mar seo le todhchaí Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, agus le fás ár mbailiúchán náisiúnta. Thaitin saothar Cézanne go háirithe le healaíontóirí eile, agus tá súil agam go spreagfaidh an pictiúr seo cruthaitheacht agus daonchairdeas in Éirinn.”

Tá La Vie Des Champs ar taispeáint i Seomraí 1-5 de Sciathán Mílaoise Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Tá iontráil chuig an mbailiúchán náisiúnta saor in aisce do chách agus is féidir foghlaim agus spreagadh a fháil ann. Féach ar www.nationalgallery.ie

Eolas faoi La vie des champs:
Críochnaíodh La Vie des Champs (“An Saol sna Páirceanna”) sa bhliain 1877, an bhliain inar chinn Cézanne a chuid oibre leis na hImpriseanaithe a thaispeáint arís, tar éis trí bliana a bheith as láthair. Tagann sé ó chor cinniúnach i ngairm Cézanne, agus is sampla luath tábhachtach é den chaoi ar fhorbair sé a stíl inaitheanta.  
Sa phictiúr seo imíonn Cézanne ón modh níos dorcha, foréigneach agus tiubh-phéinteáilte a chonacthas ina phictiúir roimhe seo, agus bogann sé i dtreo pailéad níos éadroime, níos ildaite, ag baint úsáide as buillí scuaibe comhthreomhara chun mothúcháin a chur in iúl, chomh maith le leas iomlán a bhaint as féidearthachtaí na peirspictíochta agus an achair. Tháinig na tréithe seo chun bheith ina sainchodanna de shaothar Cézanne, agus thaitin siad go mór le healaíontóirí a ré agus iad a tháinig ina dhiaidh. Ó thaobh na cumadóireachta de, is é fócas an phictiúir ná scáthchruth bhean mhaorga agus crúiscín uisce á iompar aici ar a ceann. Tá sí suite i gcoinne chúlra de phlandaí glasa, agus sruth ag rith, le féar buíghlas geal faoina cosa. Tá Villa suite ar bharr an chnoic mhéith a thógann suas an chuid chothrománach lárnach den phictiúr. I mbuillí scuaibe leathana, gráduithe cúramacha toin agus datha agus comhbhrú spáis, is féidir an stíl radacach a d’fhorbair sé níos déanaí a fheiceáil.   
Cé gur phéinteáil sé La Vie des Champs in Provence, ceapadh é mar radharc samhailteach agus ní léiriú ar thírdhreach ar leith (murab ionann agus an t-aon saothar eile le Cézanne i nGailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, líníocht uiscedhatha Montagne Sainte Victoire from Les Lauves near Aix-en-Provence, NGI.3300, dar dáta 1902-04). Tá sé mar chuid de ghrúpa pictiúr a rinne Cézanne i lár na 1870idí a aistríonn atmaisféar Dheisceart na Fraince ina fhís Arcáide gan am. Tá na pictiúir seo faoi chomaoin ag saothar péintéirí Francacha níos luaithe, lena n-áirítear Nicolas Poussin agus Claude Lorrain, atá i mbailiúchán Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Léiríonn La Vie des Champs an chaoi a raibh Cézanne radacach ach gur spreag an t-am atá thart é ag an am céanna. 
Ba le cosantóir Cézanne, an déileálaí ealaíne clúiteach ón bPáras, Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939) La Vie des Champs ar dtús. Níl sé ar taispeáint go poiblí ó 1996 i leith, nuair a bhí sé le feiceáil i dtaispeántas Philadelphia den mhórthaispeántas camchuairte, ‘Cézanne’, a d’eagraigh Músaem Ealaíne Philadelphia, Tate, agus Grand Palais, Páras.

Eolas faoi Paul Cézanne:
Rugadh Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence sa bhliain 1839. An duine ba shine de thriúr leanaí, d'fhás sé suas i dteaghlach saibhir. Rinne Cézanne staidéar ar an litríocht agus ar an dlí ar dtús mar a d’iarr a athair, ach ní fada gur thréig sé a ghairm bheatha dhlíthiúil chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar an bpéintéireacht. Bhog sé go Páras agus rinne sé staidéar san Académie Suisse ó 1862 amach.

Ar go leor bealaí, ba é Cézanne an chéad ealaíontóir a rinne iniúchadh ar theibíocht i bpéintéireacht an Iarthair. Agus é sin á dhéanamh aige, réitigh sé an bealach le haghaidh léiriú nua ar an bpeirspictíocht agus ar an spás. Ag machnamh ar ghairmréim Cézanne, thagair Henri Matisse dó mar ‘the father of us all’, ag aithint a thionchair ar na healaíontóirí a tháinig ina dhiaidh. Tharraing Cézanne aird dhearfach réasúnta déanach ina ghairm bheatha ealaíne. Tharla cor cinniúnach nuair a chuir Ambroise Vollard a chéad taispeántas aonair de shaothar Cézanne ar stáitse in 1895, nuair a bhí an t-ealaíontóir sé bliana is caoga d’aois, rud a thug deis dó a chuid éachtaí a thaispeáint.

Nótaí don Eagarthóir:

Tá íomhánna ar fáil ach iad a iarraidh.
•    Eiseoidh Mark Stedman íomhánna grianghraif do na meáin níos déanaí inniu 
•    Chun JPG den saothar ealaíne agus creidiúint íomhá a íoslódáil, féach: https://we.tl/t-gF2rlFCUdd
Íomhánna faoi réir cóipchirt, luaigh mar seo a leanas iad, le do thoil: 
Eolas faoin saothar:
•    Ealaíontóir: Paul Cézanne
•    Teideal: La Vie des Champs     
•    Dáta: 1876-77
•    Meán:     Ola ar chanbhás
•    Toisí:     27.6 x 35.2 cm
Ceannaíodh é in 2022 le tacaíocht speisialta ó Rialtas na hÉireann agus cúnamh flaithiúil ó dheontóir príobháideach. 
Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi conas tacú le Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann trí dhaonchairdeas, déan teagmháil le Maria Noonan, Ceannaire Forbartha ag [email protected]
Eolas faoi Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann 
Tá Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann ar cheann de na háiteanna cuairteoirí is mó éilimh sa tír ina bhfuil bailiúchán náisiúnta d’ealaín na hEorpa agus na hÉireann ó thart ar 1300 go dtí an lá atá inniu ann, agus Leabharlann agus Cartlann fhairsing ann. Tá iontráil chuig an mbailiúchán saor in aisce do chách le sult a bhaint as agus foghlaim agus spreagadh a fháil ann.  

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