Visiting the National Gallery, I made this drawing in oil pastel of a portion of Cezanne’s Chateau Noir. The colors in Cezanne’s picture are so dark and subtle that mine looks very brilliant in comparison. I was mixing together colors to get closer to what I think might have been some of Cezanne’s choices. But his picture is dark in ways that might be effects of age as well.
Certainly he was wont to mix together lots of pigments to achieve his effects, and the long term consequence of so many pigments being mixed together may be both a darkening and dulling of the colors. Whatever the case, his picture is magnificent in its somber darkness. Those qualities would be difficult to capture in the medium I was using though — especially with the particular palette I had available — not impossible, but very time consuming and difficult. So I contented myself with brighter effects. Plus I enjoy making a version of the painting, an interpretation. My choices are informed in part by what I know of Cezanne’s use of watercolor during this same period.
Here’s his painting and a view of the left hand section featured in my little drawing, which is 9 x 12 inches. Cezanne’s painting measures 29 x 38 inches.