Sainte-Victoire, Marseille, France

Sainte-Victoire, Marseille, France

Whenever you’re in the vicinity of Aix-en-Provence, visiting and viewing the Sainte-Victoire is an experience you won’t soon forget. This limestone mountain ridge towers above the surrounding meadow areas nearby, with the top reaching heights of more than a thousand meters. Monte Sante-Victoire is part of the Sainte-Baume Massif, a mountain ridge spreading between the départements of Bouches-du-Rhône and Var in southern France.

Sainte-Victoire and Paul Cézanne

The mountain is famous for its many appearances in the paintings of Paul Cézanne, who lived in a small house near Aix. These paintings, belonging to Post-Impressionism, are famed for Cézannes skills in analysis. He uses geometry to describe nature, and uses colors to represent the depth of objects. Next to Sainte-Victoire, a recurring theme in his paintings of the mountain is the railway bridge of the Aix-Marseille line. He often paints this bridge in the center on the right side of the picture.

His earlier paintings are realistic in drawing, while his later works lean more and more toward abstractism. The pictures below depict this transition from his early works toward his later work.

Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley (1882 –1885), Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mont Sainte-Victoire by Cézanne
Mont Sainte-Victoire by Cézanne, 1902-1904. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Photo

Because of it’s towering appearance, the mountain is very photogenic from a wide range of viewpoints. I was mountainbiking near the Barrage de Bimont when I stumbled upon some beautifully colored flowers. They were waving in a soft, warm spring breeze sweeping the lands in front of Sainte-Victoire. I specifically focused on the flowers in this composition, as it leads the eye into the picture through these flowers. The mountain is kept slightly blurry on purpose as to create a softer, more easy-on-the-eyes overal composition. Yet it is not too blurry, making the mountain distinguishable.

Sainte-Victoire, Marseille, France