At the studio, an olive tree became his friend. ‟When he had had a good session in his studio at Les Lauves,” reported Gasquet, ‟he would go down at nightfall to stand outside his front door, watching the day and the town go to sleep.
‟The olive tree was waiting for him. He had noticed it immediately, on his first visit there, before buying the land. While the building was being done, he had a little wall put up around it, to protect it from any possible damage. And now the old twilit tree had an air of vigor and fragrance. He would touch it. He would talk to it. When he parted from it at night he would sometimes embrace it.... The wisdom of the tree entered his heart.
‟‘It’s a living being,’ he said to me one day. ‘I love it like an old friend. It knows everything about my life and gives me excellent advice. I should like to be buried at its feet.’”
—Alex Danchev, Cézanne: a life