André Masson

The Red Lands and the Montagne Sainte Victoire


Not on display

André Masson 1896–1987
Original title
Les Terres rouges et la Montagne Ste Victoire
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 966 × 765 × 23 mm
frame: 1195 × 962 × 100 mm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1955

Display caption

When the Surrealist movement was launched in Paris in 1924, Masson was one of the original painters in the group. His subject is the mountain outside Aix-en-Provence, which Cézanne had painted many times some fifty years earlier. But rather than a literal depiction, it serves here as the impetus for a sense of bursting energy. Masson was a leading practitioner of the Surrealist technique of ‘automatic’ painting, in which conscious control over the movement of the hand is suppressed so that the subconscious mind may take over.

Gallery label, August 2011

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Catalogue entry

André Masson born 1896 [- 1987]

T00073 Les Terres rouges et la Montagne Ste Victoire (The Red Lands and the Montagne Ste Victoire) 1948

Inscribed 'André Masson' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 37 3/4 x 30 1/8 (96 x 76.5)
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1955
Prov: With Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (purchased from the artist 1948); with Mayor Gallery, London, 1949; through Leicester Galleries, London; CAS 1950
Exh: 14 Paintings, Mayor Gallery, London, November 1949 (6); In Paris now, Leicester Galleries, London, April 1950 (16); Some Recent Purchases of the CAS, Arts Council touring exhibition, May 1951-January 1952 (32); Retrospective Exhibition of Works from 1930 to 1955 by André Masson, Leicester Galleries, London, April-May 1955 (15); CAS: The First Fifty Years 1910-1960, Tate Gallery, April-May 1960 (156)
Repr: The Tate Gallery: Report, 1955-6 (London 1956), between pp.22 and 23

Masson settled at Aix-en-Provence in October 1947 in a house in the Route du Tholonet facing the Montagne Ste Victoire, and in the next years painted a number of pictures inspired by what remains of unspoilt nature in the area.

The present work, which the artist says shows the mountain from the Route du Tholonet, may be compared with several paintings by Cézanne of rather similar views (e.g. Venturi, Cézanne, Nos.663, 666, 764, 766).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.490, reproduced p.490

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