The Sea at L'Estaque by Paul CézanneThis gallery of masterpieces accompanies our guide to L'Estaque, the little town outside Marseille which, for over half a century, attracted a stream of great artists including Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy and Georges Braque.

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Eighteen paintings trace the progress of art from Post-Impressionism through Fauvism to Cubism, as well as L'Estaque's own evolution from a fishing port to a small industrial town. They also show how astonishingly different the same scene appeared to different eyes.

Of particular interest are the paintings by Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, both dated 1882 (hover over any of the images if you want to pause the slideshow).

In the early part of that year, the former, who was a regular visitor to L'Estaque, knew it well and painted it repeatedly, received a visit from the latter, who was stopping off there on his way from Paris to Italy.

Art historians believe they set up their easels side by side to produce, respectively, Viaduct at L'Estaque and Rocky Crags at L'Estaque (Cézanne was positioned slightly to the right of Renoir). The results speak volumes about their dramatically contrasting visions.

Snow at l'Estaque,  Paul Cézanne

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