PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN COLLECTION
Gerson (purchased at the above sale)
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 16th February 1942, lot 57
Sale: Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1st-2nd April 1954, lot 71
Private Collection, Switzerland (sold: Sotheby’s, London, 26th March 1980, lot 9)
Private Collection, U.S.A. (purchased at the above sale. Sold: Sotheby’s, New York, 8th November 1995, lot 41)
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Paris & Lausanne, 1985, vol. IV, letters nos. 2333 & 2334, mentioned p. 404
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Paris & Lausanne, 1991, vol. V, letters no. 2334, mentioned pp. 40 & 187
Daniel Wildenstein, Monet Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 809, illustrated p. 301
Like many of his fellow Impressionists Monet often turned to the still life as a lucrative form of employment. As Richard Thomson and Michael Clarke discuss: ‘The still-life paintings Monet made in the 1878-1883 period served various purposes, providing a break from landscape work and offering an alternative activity in poor weather. But above all they were commercially expedient, at a time when the artist and his family were in pressing need of funds’ (R. Thomson & M. Clarke, Monet. The Seine and the Sea 1878-1883 (exhibition catalogue), National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2003, p. 76). In the early 1880s both Monet and his dealer Durand-Ruel experienced considerable financial difficulties that were exacerbated by the collapse of the Union Générale bank in 1882. This may have inspired the group of still-lifes that Monet worked on over the course of the year, at least one of which was produced following a suggestion from Durand-Ruel.
Still-lifes must have greatly preoccupied Monet during this year as in May he accepted a commission from Durand-Ruel to paint some panels for his dining room doors. As the initial panels took shape, Durand-Ruel added to the commission, asking Monet to provide thirty-six pictures for the doors of his drawing room at 35 Rue de Rome. The project took longer than expected to complete despite Durand-Ruel sending Monet some vases for flowers in an attempt to encourage him. It was at this time, shortly after the present work was painted, that Monet moved into the house in Giverny and began work planting the garden there (fig. 2). This garden would go on to inspire many of his most important works but it began with Monet planting a great panoply of flowers, telling Durand-Ruel: ‘I have gardening to do and have been busy with that in the hope of harvesting a few flowers to paint when the weather turns’ (quoted in Monet’s Garden (exhibition catalogue), Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, 2013, p. 2).
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