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Claude Monet

France (1840 -  1926 ) Wikipedia® : Claude Monet
MONET Claude La Berge Du Petit-gennevilliers, Soleil Couchant

Christie's /May 15, 2017
2,755,326.97 - 4,592,211.61
2,522,299.50

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782

Some works of Claude Monet

Extracted between 782 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Claude Monet - Plage Et Falaises De Pourville

Claude Monet - Plage Et Falaises De Pourville

Original 1882
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Lot number: 10
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Claude monet (1840-1926) Plage et falaises de Pourville, 1882 Huile sur toile. Signée et datée en bas à gauche \\\“Claude Monet 1882\\\”. H_60 cm L_73 cm Provenance: - acheté à l'artiste par Durand-Ruel en 1882 - acquis auprès de Durand-Ruel par le sculpteur René de Saint-Marceaux, vers 1883 - collection Monsieur Tempelaere, Pays Bas, 1931 - acquis pour le compte de Monsieur Tempelaere à la Galerie Weil à Paris, par le grand-père de l'actuel propriétaire - resté dans la famille depuis - collection privée, France Expositons: - Galerie E.J. Van Wisseling, Amsterdam, 1935, exposition privée - Centenaire de Claude Monet, Galerie André Weil, Paris, février 1940 Bibliographie: - Daniel Wildenstein, 1979, Catalogue Raisonné, vol II, repr. p.60, 61 - Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet Catalogue Raisonné, vol II, repr. n° 710 CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) Beach and Cliffs at Pourville, 1882 Oil on canvas. Signed and dated lower left \\\‘Claude Monet 1882'. H_60 cm L_73 cm Provenance: - Purchased from Claude Monet by Durand-Ruel in 1882 - Purchased from Durand-Ruel by the artist René de Saint-Marceaux, circa 1883 - Private collection Mr. Tempelaere, Netherlands, 1931 - Bought from the André Weil Gallery Paris for Mr. Tempelaere by the grand-father of the actual owner - Stayed in the same family - Private collection, France Exhibitions: - Galerie E.J. Van Wisseling, Amsterdam, 1935, private exhibition - Centenaire de Claude Monet, Galerie André Weil, Paris, February 1940 Literature: - Daniel Wildenstein, 1979, Catalogue Raisonné, vol II, ill. p.60, 61 - Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet Catalogue Raisonné, vol II, ill. n° 710 Claude Monet \\\“L'an dernier, (...) j'ai souvent suivi Claude Monet à la recherche d' impressions. Ce n' était plus un peintre, en vérité, mais un chasseur. Il allait, suivi d'enfants qui portaient ses toiles, cinq ou six toiles représentant le même sujet à des heures diverses et avec des effets différents. Il les prenait et les quittait tour à tour, suivant les changements du ciel\\\” Guy de Maupassant Pour Claude Monet les côtes normandes sont teintées de souvenir. Ayant passé son enfance au Havre, il a acquis une connaissance particulière des paysages et de l'atmosphère qui s'en dégage. Lorsqu'il retourne en Normandie, ses proches parlent d'un bouleversement chez le peintre, qui accentue son obsession de la lumière et de ses variations. Claude Monet nous raconte qu'il se lève à l'aube et travaille jusqu'au soir afin d'étudier encore et toujours les effets de la lumière sur la mer. En 1882, après quelques jours passés à Dieppe, Claude Monet s'installe à Pourville. «Je me suis installé ici depuis quelques jours, j'avais besoin de revoir la mer et suis enchanté de revoir tant de choses que j'ai faites il y a quinze années. Aussi me suis-je mis à l'ouvrage avec ardeur». Touché par les falaises et la lumière qui s'y baigne il dit «aimer la surface ondoyante» de ces falaises de la côte normande mais aussi «les angles de visions originaux qu'elle lui offre». Il a su capter et rendre sur la toile la matérialité des rochers, les traces d'érosion et la variation de couleurs. La réverbération de la lumière sur la paysage est déposée en une touche d'énergie qui captive le regard et confère à l'oeuvre un magnétisme de l'ordre du divin. Il y a dans son oeuvre une volonté d'exprimer, une manière de percevoir et de ressentir les choses plutôt que de restituer avec exactitude l'apparence objective et neutre. L'oeuvre apparaît ici, comme une impression, un moyen d'atteindre une vérité et de nous la dévoiler. De part le regard et le ressenti du peintre, la nature se dévoile à nous sous un jour nouveau, sous des couleurs que nous ne voyons pas et qui se révèlent grâce à la touche si particulière de l'artiste. Oscar Wilde l'exprime ainsi \\\‘ La vie imite l'art bien plus que l'art n'imite la vie». Il y a, ici, bien plus de réalité que dans la vie réelle. Il renouvèle ainsi la façon de représenter la nature et de la percevoir, pour lui le sujet n'est pas ce qu'il est mais ce que la lumière en fait. Son art est un langage, il cherche dans la réalité sensible les formes avec lesquelles, il exprime une idée, un ressenti, une impression esthétique. Ce paysage de Pourville colorié par des bleus, des verts et des roses, transcende les limites du beau et déborde sur le sublime indicible. La modulation de notre perception nous surprend, nous fascine et nous élève au delà du monde sensible. For Monet the coast of Normandy was tinged with memories. Having spent his childhood in Le Havre, he acquired a special knowledge of the landscape and the atmosphere particular to this place. When he returned to Normandy, his close relations talked of a major disruption in the painter, which accentuated his obsession with light and its variations. Monet tells us that he rose at dawn and worked till nightfall in order to study again and again the effects of light on the ocean. In 1882, after several days spent in Dieppe, Monet moved to Pourville. \\\“I moved there several days ago, I needed to see the sea again and am thrilled to see again so many of the things that I did fifteen years ago. I have hence started working with great ardor. Touched by the chalk cliffs and the light bathing them, he said how much he \\\“loved the undulating surface\\\” of those cliffs of the Norman coast but also \\\“the original perspectives they offered him.\\\” He knew how to capture and render on canvas the materiality of rocks, traces of erosion, variations in color. The reverberation of the light on the landscape is laid down as an energetic touch that captures the gaze and confers on the work a magnetism of a divine order. There are in his works a will to express, a way of perceiving and feeling things rather than exactly reproducing objective, neutral appearance. The work appears here as an impression, a way of attaining a truth and unveiling it to us. Through the painter's gaze and feeling, nature unveils itself to us under a new day, through colors that we never see and that reveal themselves thanks to the so-particular touch of the artist. Oscar Wilde expressed it thus: \\\“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.\\\” There is, here, much more reality than in real life. He thus renewed the way of representing and perceiving nature: for him the subject is not what it is, but what the light makes of it. His art is a language, he seeks in perceivable reality the forms with which he expresses an idea, a feeling, an aesthetic impression. This landscape of Pourville colored by blues, greens, and pinks, transcends the boundaries of the beautiful and brims over into the inexpressible sublime. The modulation of our perception surprises us, fascinates us, and elevates us beyond the perceivable world. \\\“Last year (...) I often followed Claude Monet in his search for impressions. He was no longer a painter, in fact, but a hunter. He went about, followed by children who carried his canvases, five or six canvases depicting the same subject at different hours and with different effects. He took them and left them each in their turn, following the changes in the sky.\\\” Guy de Maupassant Les Falaises Normandes Grâce à son carnet de croquis, Monet peut prendre note de tous les lieux et étudier le meilleur cadrage. Les esquisses prises lors de ses pérégrinations se retrouvent souvent et assez fidèlement dans les marines de cette époque. Il est vrai que la composition de ses dessins, tout comme celle de ses peintures, est d'une grande simplicité: silhouette des falaises et ligne d'horizon. Les marines de Monet ne sont plus consacrées à la représentation de silhouettes parisiennes sur la plage, ni de régates sur les flots, comme celles qu'il exécutait lors de la décennie précédente. A l'instar de ses paysages de Vétheuil, ses paysages marins sont épurés à l'extrême. Extrait de l'ouvrage \\\“Claude Monet, son musée\\\”. éd. Musée Marmottan, Monet, Paris. éd. Editions Hazan, Paris, 2010. With his sketchbook, Monet can take note of all the places and study the best framing. The sketches drawn during his wanderings can often be identified, sometimes fairly accurately, in the marines painted at this period. It is true that the composition of his drawings, as well as those of his paintings, is very simple: the outlines of the cliffs and the horizon line. The marine paintings of Monet are no longer devoted to the representation of Parisian silhouettes on the beach, nor regattas on the waves like those painted during the previous decade. In the same way as the Vétheuil landscapes, Monet's seascapes are extremely refined. \\\“Je n'ai fait que regarder ce que m'a montré l'univers. La couleur est mon obsession quotidienne, ma joie et mon tourment.\\\” \\\“I did nothing but look at what the universe showed me. Color is my daily obsession, my joy and my torment.\\\”
Claude Monet - Yport Et Falaise D'aval

Claude Monet - Yport Et Falaise D'aval

Original 1861
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Lot number: 382
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Claude Monet YPORT ET FALAISE D'AVAL 1840 - 1926 Stamped Claude Monet on the reverse Pastel heightened with gouache on paper 7 3/4 by 15 7/8 in. 19.5 by 40.5 cm Executed in 1861. Provenance Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 17, 1884, lot 78 Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale) Marcel Bernheim, Paris Camille Mauclair, Paris (a gift from the above in 1924) Wildenstein & Co., New York Private Collection, Toronto (acquired from the above and sold: Sotheby\\\’s New York, November 5, 2014, lot 392) Acquired at the above sale Exhibited Paris, Bernheim-Jeune, Claude Monet, 1906 Berlin, Paul Cassirer, VI Ausstellung, XI. Jahrgang, 1909 Dusseldorf, loan of works from Durand-Ruel, late 1911 Leipzig, Verein Lia, Leipziger Jahrausstellung, 1912, no. 496 Paris, Marcel Bernheim, Exposition de pastels et dessin, 1923-24 Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Monet il maestro della luce, 2000, no. 36, illustrated in color in the catalogue London, Royal Academy of Arts & Williamstown, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, 2007, n.n., illustrated in color in the catalogue Literature Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. V, Lausanne, 1991, no. P4, illustrated in color pp. 20 & 156 Joseph Baillio & Cora Michael, \\\“Chronological and Pictorial Survey of the Life and Career of Claude Monet\\\” in Monet (1840-1926): Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff, New York, 2007, cited p. 154, illustrated in color fig. 5
Claude Monet - Vétheuil

Claude Monet - Vétheuil

Original 1880
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Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 8
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Description:
Claude Monet VÉTHEUIL Signed Claude Monet and dated 80 (lower right) Oil on canvas 23 5/8 by 31 1/2 in. 60 by 80 cm Painted in 1880. (probably) Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1881) George N. Tyner, Holyoke, Massachusetts (sold: Waldorf-Astoria, New York, February 1, 1901, lot 67) Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale) Montaignac, Paris (acquired from the above on March 11, 1903) Maurice Masson, Paris (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Vente M. Masson, June 22, 1911, no. 25) Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris & Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale) Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris Margarethe Krupp, Villa Hügel, Essen, inventory KH 345 (acquired from the above in March 1914 for RM 22,000 on the advice of the director of the Kunstmuseum Essen, Ernst Gosebruch) Thence by descent Exhibited Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Collection Maurice Masson, 1911, no. 26 Essen, Villa Hügel, Aus der Gemäldesammlung der Familie Krupp, 1965, no. 65 Literature Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne & Paris, 1974, vol. I, no. 607, illustrated p. 375 Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 607, illustrated p. 232 Painted in 1880, Monet\’\’\’\’s stunning Vétheuil depicts the small village of Vétheuil situated along the Seine between the city of Mantes and the town of Vernon, which was the home to Monet and his family from September 1878 until December 1881. This picturesque location was the site of some of Monet\’\’\’\’s most successful Impressionist landscapes during this period and continued to fascinate him well into his late career. The natural beauty of the region appealed to the artist, as did the impressive medieval architecture that could be seen from many points in the surrounding area. Of particular interest to him were the rigid shapes of buildings, most noticeably that of the imposing tenth century church of Notre Dame de Vétheuil, juxtaposed against the patchwork of the landscape. In the two years that he made Vétheuil his home, Monet executed several views of the village as seen from across the river, with the fragmented reflection of the church and its environs appearing in the ripples of water. This was the view that attracted Monet\’\’\’\’s attention again in 1901, when he rented a house on the banks of Lavacourt that summer and, from his balcony overlooking the river, painted fifteen canvases of the view of Vétheuil. Monet\’\’\’\’s return to this subject over twenty years later demonstrates a shift in his aesthetic objectives. No longer was he concerned with the buildings as objects per se. Instead, his concentration now focused primarily on the effects of the natural light as it illuminated the region and on the atmospheric quality of the landscape as a whole. Monet's paintings from Vétheuil evidence a critical development in the evolution of his style, when he began to strike out from the already established techniques of the early Impressionist imagery that he had perfected while living in Argenteuil in the 1870s. Many of these canvases strike a balance between the naturalist-realist origins of Impressionism and a boldly experimental approach to capturing the changing qualities of light. This small stretch of the Seine provided innumerable opportunities for Monet to observe the same, or similar, views in different seasons and at different times of day and to explore the resulting nuances of light and color. Returning to the same stretch of river over a number of years allowed Monet to observe it in all its moods: capturing it bathed in the crisp, golden light of a warm afternoon as in the present work and by way of contrast, in the somber, muted tones that he used to evoke the particularly harsh winter of 1879-80. With regard to the artist's technique in the 1880s, Andrew Forge wrote: \“Color which he now learned to use with an unprecedented purity offers an infinitely subtle and flexible alternative to the traditional massing of light and shade. Systems of interlocking blues and oranges, for example, of lilacs and lemons will carry the eye across the whole surface of the canvas and these color structures, each marvelously turned to the particulars of light will be augmented by a vast range of accents of comma, slash, dot, flake, each attuned economically to its object that the eye is continually at work in its reading\” (A. Forge in Claude Monet (exhibition catalogue), Acquavella Galleries, New York, 1976, n.p.).
Claude Monet - La Berge Du Petit-gennevilliers, Soleil Couchant

Claude Monet - La Berge Du Petit-gennevilliers, Soleil Couchant

Original 1875
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Gross Price
Lot number: 16A
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Claude Monet (1840-1926) La berge du Petit-Gennevilliers, soleil couchant signed 'Claude Monet' (lower right) oil on canvas 21 1/8 x 29 5/8 in. (55 x 73.9 cm.) Painted in 1875 The Seine-side enclave of Argenteuil, where Monet painted this convivial image of suburban leisure, is virtually synonymous today with the origins of Impressionism. \\\“I have been seeing Monet frequently these days,\\\” Boudin reported to his dealer in January 1872, a month after Monet moved to the town. \\\“He\\\’s settled in comfortably and seems to have a great desire to make a name for himself. I believe that he is destined to fill one of the most prominent positions in our school of painting\\\” (quoted in P. Tucker, Claude Monet: Life and Art, New Haven, 1995, p. 53). During the ensuing years, Monet rapidly consolidated the innovative formal vocabulary of Impressionism. Eschewing traditional modeling and laborious finish, he produced paintings with all the vitality and brio of sketches, their broken, transparent brushwork consciously signifying a fleeting moment before nature. As other progressive painters–Manet, Renoir, Sisley, and Caillebotte among them–joined Monet at Argenteuil, the town became the chief locus of the New Painting, with its daring subversion of long-standing Salon norms. When Monet moved to Argenteuil, it was a lively suburb of some eight thousand inhabitants, located on the right bank of the Seine just eleven kilometers west of the capital. Parisians knew it as an agréable petite ville, rapidly industrializing yet still postcard picturesque, and only fifteen minutes by rail from the Gare Saint-Lazare. The town was especially popular among leisure-seekers devoted to the newly fashionable sport of boating, since the Seine is deeper and broader here than anywhere else near Paris. From the mid-century onward, town leaders encouraged the development of Argenteuil as a sailing hub, permitting the establishment of mooring areas and boathouses along the banks and promoting the near-perfect conditions of the river among sports enthusiasts. The most stylish yacht club in Paris established its headquarters at Argenteuil, and the frequent sight of sailboats flying before the wind in regattas and fêtes nautiques attracted numerous spectators to its wooded banks. Although Monet explored a wide range of motifs during his years at Argenteuil, it was the river that provided him with the greatest wealth of pictorial enticements. Between 1872 and 1875, he created more than fifty paintings of this stretch of the Seine, focusing principally on three motifs: the boat rental area immediately downstream from the highway bridge; the wide basin of the river, with its sandy promenades; and the Petit Bras, a diversion of the Seine by the Île Marante where larger boats sometimes moored. Although they range in mood from reflective to high-spirited, these views all offered Monet the opportunity to paint essentially the same subject: a well-ordered, modern suburb where man and nature met in agreeable harmonies. \\\“Evocative and inviting, this is the suburban paradise that was sought after in the 1850s and 1860s but made all the more precious and desired after the disasters of 1870-1871,\\\” Paul Tucker has written, \\\“its calm the restorative balm for the nation as a whole\\\” (ibid., p. 61). Monet painted the present canvas during the late spring or summer of 1875, the year after the epoch-making First Impressionist Exhibition introduced the Salon-going public to the revolutionary, plein-air aesthetic and momentary, modern-life themes of the New Painting. On this particular day, beneath a cloud-streaked sky, he crossed the highway bridge from Argenteuil to the smaller village of Petit-Gennevilliers on the opposite bank of the Seine. He set up his easel on a relatively tranquil stretch of the river midway between the boat rental area and the boat basin, looking downstream toward neighboring Bézons. Twice in 1875, Monet depicted nearly the identical motif in mid-morning, when the sandy path in the foreground was dappled with golden light (Wildenstein, nos. 373 and 375; Christie\\\’s New York, 14 May 1997, Lot 20). Here, he captures a late afternoon effect instead, with the sun dipping low at the right and the light growing hazy. The overhanging tree branches are boldly silhouetted against the expansive sky, creating a dramatic contrast between light and dark zones in the painting. The small dock in the foreground of this scene is the same one that Monet and Renoir had depicted at close range the previous summer, working contentedly side-by-side as they had at La Grenouillère in the heady, formative years of Impressionism before the Franco-Prussian War (Wildenstein, no. 324; Dauberville, no. 126; Portland Art Museum). The dock appears as well in a view of this stretch of the Seine that Sisley painted during a visit with Monet in 1872 (Daulte, no. 30; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art). In the present painting, a bourgeois couple cautiously traverses the wooden mooring hand-in-hand, preparing to board a sailboat that waits at anchor, a canotier seated at the bow. A woman and child watch them from the grassy bank, while a third pair of figures stands together on the path, pausing mid-promenade to survey this appealing vista of leisurely, warm-weather sociability. Compositionally, the image is strikingly similar to Monet\\\’s glorious view of the main promenade at Argenteuil, painted during the first summer that he spent in the town (Wildenstein, no. 225; Musée d\\\’Orsay, Paris). \\\“Each element in the painting is painstakingly arranged and scrupulously rendered,\\\” Tucker has written about the Orsay canvas, \\\“underscoring Monet\\\’s powers as an artist and the humanly imposed rationale of the place\\\” (Impressionists at Argenteuil, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2000, p. 68). In both paintings, the towpath leads logically into the scene at the lower left, beckoning the viewer to enter this ideally constructed world. The masts of the sailboats that line the near bank in the present view punctuate the path\\\’s rapid recession into depth. The row of stately trees and the length of the river serve as counterbalancing triangular shapes, together with the path creating a pattern of interlocking parts, above which hangs a broad sky. In La berge du Petit-Gennevilliers, Monet has analyzed the various sections of the landscape through carefully differentiated zones of brushwork, heightening the sense of consummate order and emphasizing the variety of fugitive sensations that he experienced before the view. The arresting mass of dark foliage in the upper left, which serves as a repoussoir device to increase the illusion of depth in the painting, is rendered in small, dry touches of pigment through which the sky remains partially visible. More heavily loaded strokes describe the path and the damp grass at the water\\\’s edge. The afternoon sky, faintly tinged with gold and lilac beneath copious bands of cirrus, is rendered in long, loose strokes that conjure the effect of a swift breeze. Monet continued to revel in Argenteuil\\\’s suburban pleasures and pastimes through late 1875, but soon after his attitude toward the petite ville underwent a sea-change. A third iron works was set to open across the street from his house by that time, and plans were being made to bring a second railroad through town. Agrarian land was increasingly being converted for housing, and worst of all, pollution had begun to contaminate the Seine. The balance between the beauties of nature and the bounties of progress–the source of Argenteuil\\\’s appeal for Monet from the outset–had tipped too far to one side. Disheartened, the artist spent much of 1876 and 1877 away from home or sequestered within the walls of his own garden. In January 1878 he packed his bags for good, settling some sixty kilometers downriver in the remote hamlet of Vétheuil, as yet untouched by the encroachments of modernity. A new chapter in Impressionism had begun. Provenance Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 3 December 1910, lot 44. Alfred Strolin, Paris (acquired at the above sale); Estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 7 July 1921, lot 19. Prince Kojiro Matsukata, Paris and Tokyo. Jean Pacquement, Paris. Wildenstein & Co. Inc., New York. Colonel Daniel Sickles, Paris. Florence J. Gould, Cannes (acquired from the above, 1971); Estate sale, Sotheby's, New York, 24 April 1985, lot 43. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY OF A LADY Literature D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1974, vol. 1, p. 274, no. 374 (illustrated). T. Yuzo, Kokuritsu Seiyo Bijutsukan Secchino Jokyo, Tokyo, 1989, vol. 3, list 1, no. 227. D. Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, p. 154, no. 374 (illustrated). Exhibited Paris, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Tableaux de collections Parisiennes, 1850-1950, April-May 1955, no. 81 (titled Bords de la seine; with inverted dimensions). Tokyo, Seibu Gallery; Kyoto Municipal Museum and Fukuoka, Cultural Center, Claude Monet, March-July 1973, no. 10 (illustrated). Paris, Grand Palais, Hommage à Monet, February-May 1980, p. 131, no. 40 (illustrated).
Claude Monet - La Seine À Lavacourt

Claude Monet - La Seine À Lavacourt

Original 1879
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 130
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE PORTUGUESE COLLECTION Claude Monet LA SEINE À LAVACOURT 1840 - 1926 oil on canvas 46 by 61cm., 18 1/8 by 24in. Painted in 1879. Richard Peabody, Boston Comte Ivan Podgarsky Mrs William Fitzhugh, San Francisco Miss Marion E. Fitzhugh, New York (acquired in 1960) J. Perry Fitzhugh, Maine (sale: Sotheby's Parke-Bernet, New York, 3rd April 1968, lot 46) Sale: Drouot-Montaigne, Paris, 24th November 1988, lot 33 Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 25th March 1994, lot 42 Sale: Millon & Associés, Paris, 19th March 2007, lot 22 Purchased at the above sale by the present owners Los Angeles, County Museum, Monet, 1960, no. 26 (titled The Seine at Vétheuil) Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet. Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1991, vol. V, no. 2003-538, illustrated p. 9 Daniel Wildenstein, Monet. Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 538a, illustrated p. 211 In 1878 Monet left the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil to pursue a more idyllic life in the country. He travelled north and discovered the medieval village of Vétheuil, situated just outside the town of Mantes in the region of Île-de-France. Monet took an instant liking to Vétheuil, and he was soon joined by his family as well as that of his friend and patron Ernest Hoschedé. The two families installed themselves in a rented house on the road to Mantes, with a large garden that led down to the river. Monet was delighted with the rich, unspoilt nature offered by his new surroundings and found numerous motifs in the untamed river landscape and the picturesque towns that surrounded it. He even established a painting studio on a small boat—his bateau-atelier— which enabled him to travel up and down the Seine and gave him a limitless choice of perspectives. The quaint town of Lavacourt, situated on the opposite shore to Vétheuil, proved particularly appealing and Monet painted at least sixteen views of the town during the autumn and winter of 1878-79. La Seine à Lavacourt focuses on the verdant shores of the towpath that ran along the riverbanks there and is a wonderful testament to the full, rich light that is characteristic of the region. According to David Joel: ‘On sunny days, as the sun rises higher and the land gets warmer the morning mists are dispelled, and the breeze created is funnelled up by the white cliffs forming a circular wind system, often rising to ten thousand feet. This system can bring all sorts of summer cloud formations unique to this area of Normandy, which may or may not vanish by sunset. Thus the skies are constantly changing and fine sunsets and effects are created. They differ by the hour’’’’’’’’ (David Joel, Monet at Vétheuil 1878-1883, Woodbridge, England, 2002, p. 50). Soon after arriving in Vétheuil, Monet's family relocated to a more spacious residence at Les Tourelles together with the Hoschedés. Monet remained here for almost five years, enduring a period of dire financial hardship over the winter of 1878-79 and of personal grief at the death of his wife Camille in the fall of 1879. Despite these adversities, Monet continued to paint and he produced several stunning depictions of Lavacourt and its environs over this period. As Paul Hayes Tucker notes: ‘The place appeared to agree with him. Over the time he was there, he produced nearly three hundred paintings—one every four days. This was a remarkable output, surpassing the number of pictures he completed during his seven years at Argenteuil by a large margin. Most of these new canvases, however, were vastly different from those earlier works, as Monet now sought out spaces in and around this rural village which revealed its quiet secrets—the backwaters of the Seine, the orchards that dotted the surrounding hills and the well-trodden dirt paths of the little town of Lavancourt [sic] just across the river’’’’’’’’ (Paul Hayes Tucker, Claude Monet, Life and Art, New Haven & London, 1995, p. 101).
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