Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Cezanne in the hedge

Its a story of the Bloomsbury group. While the second world war was raging, the French government was having a fire sale of some of their impressionist paintings. A few English officials went over to Paris to buy some paintings for the National gallery. John Maynard Keynes worked for the same department and he went with them to Paris. He tried to get them to include this painting but with no success. So he bought it with his own money, 500 pounds. Upon returning to England, he got a lift to Charleston farmhouse and was dropped off on the main road. He still had to walk the muddy lane up to Charleston. He couldn't carry all his stuff, so he left them including this painting on the hedge. Upon reaching the house, he told the occupants, mainly Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, that if they should walk down the lane to get his stuff, they would find, 'a Cezanne in the hedge.' This painting hung on the wall above his bed in Charleston. Upon his death it was bequeathed to the University of Cambridge. When I was in Cambridge in June this year, I had to go see it. Its at the Fitzwilliams museum in Cambridge and this is a photo I took of it.

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