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John of Pontoise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John of Pontoise
Bishop of Winchester
Appointed9 June 1282
InstalledSeptember 1282
Term ended5 December 1304
PredecessorRichard de la More
SuccessorHenry Woodlock
Consecrationbefore 15 June 1282
Personal details
Died5 December 1304
Previous postArchdeacon of Exeter

John of Pontoise (a.k.a. John de Pontissara; died 1304) was a medieval Bishop of Winchester in England.

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  • ✪ Paul Cézanne, Landscapes, Camille Pissarro - Origins of Modern Art 5
  • ✪ Words of Wisdom from Native American Indian


One of the first landscapes Cézanne painted is this realistic “Landscape Near Aix-en-Provence” from 1865. Being the only mountain in the neighborhood of Aix, we must see at the horizon the Mont Sainte-Victoire, so this might be Cézanne’s first depiction of the mountain, or the ridge connected to this mountain. The painting is clearly an example of his style at younger age, his “Dark Period”. Only in this early period he depicted human figures in the landscape, the so-called staffage figures, serving in general as decoration, yet add life to the work; they provide depth to the painting and give a clear scale to the rest of the composition. Several times Cézanne visited the already mentioned, Camille Pissarro, who was his friend since he attended a free school, the Académie Suisse, in Paris. Both men felt a profound need for a revolution in the arts. We see here Pissarro’s self-portrait, In those days, Pissarro became one of the leading figures of the impressionist movement. He was a balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality. Pissarro not only provided the moral encouragement that the insecure Cézanne required, but he also introduced him to the impressionist technique for rendering outdoor light. Pissarro painted this portrait of his friend Cézanne in 1874. He had a significant influence on Cézanne’s work, whose style evolved, the choice of colors became considerably lighter. The violent contrasts of blacks against whites gave way to lighter colors. Cézanne, although only nine years younger than Pissarro, has said: “He was a father for me. A man to consult and a little like the good Lord.” Pissarro lived with his fast growing family outside of Paris in Pontoise and later in Louveciennes, both of which places inspired many of his paintings. His son recalls that Cézanne had to walk a few miles to join Pissarro at various settings. On this photo, taken in Auvers-sur-Oise, Cézanne is on the right. Both heavily bearded, and apparently ready for some “en plein air” painting. Perhaps unbelievable, but Cézanne on the photo is 34 years old. They sure make a striking odd couple. But don’t forget, both men belonged in that time to the avant-garde of the capital city. In the spring of 1877 Pissarro painted this huge flowering pear tree in the orchard behind his house in Pontoise, in typical impressionist style which include among others, an open composition, and emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities. In the summer of that same year, Cézanne painted in the same orchard the same landscape as Pissarro, but – surprisingly - without the pear tree. Surprising indeed, in the following we shall see that Cézanne certainly did not dislike painting trees. Like the impressionists he painted with thin patches of paint, in which each stroke of paint can be separated from the little lines that build up the contours of the trees and the sides of the houses. According to the similarity of the houses on the hill, the landscape in both paintings must be the same. Cézanne sat probably in front of the tree. Apparently he was more interested in depicting a landscape with houses. But, of course, it is also possible that after Pissarro’s depiction of the tree, it was cut down. However it may be, Cézanne did not sign the canvas, suggesting that he judged it as unfinished. Contrary to Pissarro, he brought the background to the front, a method he often used in landscapes as we shall see in Part II. Cézanne’s impressionist period lasted from 1870 to 1878. At the end of the 1870s he reinterpreted several of Pissarro's earlier compositions. For instance he decided to paint the “Bridge of Maincy”. Notice the patches of parallel brush strokes Cézanne’s “Bridge of Maincy” was inspired by this painting, Pissarro’s depiction of the “Little Bridge of Pontoise”, which he painted in 1875. It shows that Cézanne could rather well match his former tutor. Cezanne’s bridge in Maincy still exists… It was by 1877 that their careers began to drift apart. Around 1900 Pissarro painted these “Apple Trees in Bloom”, and it makes clear that during his life time Pissarro stuck to his impressionist principles. Cézanne, however, changed his style, as this forest-landscape from around 1900 shows. It reaches certain amount of abstractness, not found in impressionist paintings. Light and patches of color evoke an organization that is not imposed on nature, but is there naturally. Just like the impressionists, with the exception of his “Bathers” paintings we saw before, Cézanne painted his whole life from nature. Until recent fires ravaged the area, the forked tree that Cézanne depicted at the right, still stood on the site. Although Cézanne painted from nature, he deviated from reality. As in his other painting genres, also in his landscapes the tilting of vertical objects is present. This is very evident in his depiction of his father’s house: “Jas de Bouffan”. In particular the leftward leaning axis of the house creates a tension of the house in relation to the four sides of the picture frame. Of course, in reality the house is not tilted as this photo proves. According to Loran, the painting calls for a general circular movement in space, giving the picture a dynamic impression, In Part II of this series on Cézanne, we shall go into this subject somewhat further. A similar dynamic impression is evoked in the depiction of a bend in a road, which seemed to be for Cézanne a fascinating motif. We give four examples, for each period one. This “Bend in Road” painted Cézanne in his final, post-impressionist, period. Post impressionism was neither a style nor a movement; rather, post-impressionism was differentiated by the largely symbolic and imaginary sources of inspiration that supplanted the naturalist and realist impulses that had shaped impressionism. But let us return to trees, through the ages a beloved motif for many painters. This painting of Albrecht Altdorfer from 1510 shows St. George in the Forest. Notice the carefully placing of mountain at the horizon. And this rather trivial “Landscape with a Footbridge” by Aldorfer is claimed to be the oldest remaining pure landscape in oil, not a single staffage figure can be seen. One might expect that the artist has tried to give an accurate representation based on a sketch, drawn from nature. This is a classical landscape with trees and a mountain at the horizon by Nicolas Poussin, who was an important inspiration for Cézanne. Contrary to Poussin, Cézanne, as mentioned before, never used staffage figures in his mature landscapes. Even not one boat is sailing on the Mediterranean Sea In Claude Monet’s depiction of the Mediterranean, seen through the twisted tree trunks bent by centuries of strong coastal winds, we can at least perceive one white sail at sea. And what a dramatic “Oak Tree in the Snow” this is. It is painted by Caspar David Friedrich in 1829. It is an example of the Romantic style. Emotion in painting also characterized Cézanne’s work in his early years, later he developed an observing, analytical approach. This oak tree is created by the earlier mentioned realist painter, Gustave Courbet, in 1864. The tree is a depiction of the objective reality, but that is not to say that its overwhelmingness does not evoke emotional feelings. And this impressionist “Weeping Willow” is made by Claude Monet in his late period. He painted a series of weeping willow trees as homage to the French fallen soldiers in World War One. Cézanne painted many landscapes with imposing trees. This tree is from his impressionist period. It stood near his father’s house: The earlier mentioned Jas De Bouffan. In his mature period his trees had often a solid appearance, deviating branches were emphasized. This large pine covers almost the whole canvas, like this “Mulberry Tree” in a painting of Vincent Van Gogh. But is this large pine a realistic tree? Indeed, it is certainly an unusual tree. In other words: how far goes his altering of reality? Doesn’t he, for instance, “ínvent” branches in order to create an optimal composition? In 1895 Cézanne made a germinal visit to Bibémus Quarries, and he climbed the neighboring Mont Sainte-Victoire. Two years later he rented a cabin there, and painted extensively in the neighborhood, like this picture with the mountain in the back and red rocks of the quarry in the foreground. He also used red rocks in the Quarry as the sole subject of a painting. Some suggest that the origins of Cubism might be found in this painting. The photo of the same rocks shows that Cézanne did not paint from imagination, he did not ad or subtract elements, like the Cubists. Cézanne closely followed nature, but changed the relations between the realistic elements in order to achieve the composition he liked. It seems plausible that the roots of Cubism lie in Cézanne’s manipulation of space by means of multiple viewpoints, as we explained before. Further, in his disregard of the rules of linear perspective, and in his technique of breaking up the surface of his subject into small multifaceted areas of paint, like in this painting: “Reflections in the Water” from 1890.


John of Pontoise was from Pontoise in Seine-et-Oise in France, but spent much of his life in England. In 1280, he was briefly Chancellor of the University of Oxford.[1][2] He was an Archdeacon of Exeter and a papal chaplain before Pope Martin IV provided him to the see of Winchester on 9 June 1282 and consecrated before 15 June 1282. He was enthroned at Winchester Cathedral in September 1282.[3]

John of Pontoise died on 4 December 1304.[3]


  1. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "Appendix 5: Chancellors of the University". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. pp. 521–522. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
  2. ^ Wood, Anthony (1790). "Fasti Oxonienses". The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford. Google Books. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b British History Online Bishops of Winchester. Accessed on 2 November 2007.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Eustace de Normanville
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
Henry de Stanton
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Richard de la More
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Henry Woodlock

This page was last edited on 25 June 2018, at 16:34
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