Cezanne and Caterpillars

Published: March 28th 2006
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Ste. Victoire from above Chateau NoirSte. Victoire from above Chateau NoirSte. Victoire from above Chateau Noir

The view from our lunching spot.
After my trip to Avignon I was pretty tired. But nonetheless, I got up nice and early for my Cezanne field trip today. However, I didn't get up as early as I had hoped. I forgot that daylight savings time began this Sunday in France, so I had to rush out the door to make it to the rendezvous by 9am. I had two pieces of bread and a banana for breakfast. Yum.

I made it on time though and we set off in our little bus. Our first stop was Chateau Noir, where Cezanne did a lot of motifs of Ste. Victoire. We couldn't take any photos on the property though, because it is privately-owned. So I cannot show you how beautiful it was. But trust me, it was awesome. The house itself was never completed, but there are still two buildings and a courtyard. We looked at the pistachio tree in the courtyard for about twenty minutes, comparing it to a Cezanne watercolor.

We hiked up above the Chateau and ate lunch on cliffs overlooking the valley and Ste. Victoire. It was beautiful. I ate my little croissant I had bought, then walked along the cliff to
The Caterpillar CircleThe Caterpillar CircleThe Caterpillar Circle

Round and round they go, when they started or will stop, nobody knows.
get some pictures of the mountain. I almost stepped into the middle of a strange ritual. On a rock and around it, a hundred caterpillars or more were moving, head to tail, in a circle. They just kept going round and around. I got video and pictures of it, and then just sat and watched them. I believe it's an allegory of modern life- how if everyone just follows the leader then nobody gets anywhere! It was sort of creepy and I still don't know why they were doing it.

After lunch we climbed down and went the Bellevue, another place that Cezanne painted from. We sat and looked at three pictures for an hour in the shade of a pine forest, after having cut through a horse stable/farm and climbed over some barbed wire. It was really pretty and very calming to just sit in a field and think about art.

The atelier Cezanne, or his studio, was our next stop. It was awesome to see all the stuff that is in his still lifes just sitting there in the flesh. A little cupid statue, tables, crockery- all of it just how it was left. Even his
The Motif at BellevueThe Motif at BellevueThe Motif at Bellevue

Three Cezanne paintings done near the spot I was sitting.
hat and umbrella hang in the corner and his leather bag (the worse for wear) hangs on a chair.

Our last stop was up the hill from the studio, where Cezanne did some of his last motifs of Ste. Victoire. On a nice little patio, surrounded by these swanky stucco homes are nine copies of his paintings. We looked at the paintings, then compared them to the mountain. It was a pretty spot to end our day. We finally got back to the centre ville at 6pm- so I had a very long day.


13th June 2007

poisonous caterpillars
processional caterpillars..... poisonous.... not good.... check them out on the web.

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