Derek Fell / Author Simon & Schuster $35 (144p) ISBN 978-0-743
Master gardener and photographer Fell recounts Cezanne's life and gardening philosophy in this latest of his artists and their gardens series (Renoir's Garden, Secrets of Monet's Garden, Van Gogh's Gardens).""It is our business as artists to convey the thrill of nature's permanence along with the elements and the appearance of all its changes,"" explained Cezanne. Fell deftly chronicles nature's transformation by mingling the late Impressionist's idyllic landscapes with contemporary photographs of his family's former estate, Jas de Bouffan, Cezanne's own restored hideaway, Les Lauves, as well as the soaring subject of many of the painter's works, Mt. Sainte-Victoire. Fell also briefly explores Cezanne's legacy as a seminal painter and suggests how the natural mysteries in light and form incited his innovative experiment with rustic hues, geometrical shapes and rich textures. More a delightful meandering through vivid Provencal landscapes than a full survey of the artist's work or thought--or a serious garden book--this belongs on the coffee table rather than the tool shed or library. 100 photographs and 12 illustrations.
Reviewed on: 02/16/2004