Charles T. Yerkes, Philadelphia (acquired from the above on October 10, 1891)
Emilie Grigsby, New York (sold: The Anderson Galleries, New York, January 26, 1912, lot 1154)
Durand-Ruel Gallery, New York (acquired at the above sale and held until 1949)
Maurice Ferrier, Geneva
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Acquired from the above in 1968
New York, Durand-Ruel Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet, 1923, no. 9 (titled Falaise à Pourville)
Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 905, illustrated p. 338
Monet’s affinity for the stunning natural features of the Norman coast was not unique; the area was also popular with artists and writers of the preceding generation, including Delacroix, Corot, Boudin and Courbet, the latter of whom exerted a strong influence on Monet’s work. As Richard R. Brettell states: “In these works of Normandy there is a clear debt to Courbet and their concomitant fascination with the almost mythic natural landscape of the north coast. [...] The viewer, like Monet himself, is most often alone - walking on the beaches, clinging to the cliffs, staring at the waves that crash against the coast of France itself” (R. R. Brettell, Monet in Normandy (exhibition catalogue), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2006, p. 46).
The first private owner of the present work was Charles T. Yerkes, an American financier who developed mass transit systems in Chicago and London. Yerkes acquired the painting from Monet’s dealer Paul-Durand-Ruel, who purchased the work from Monet in November 1884. The present work is from a series of three paintings Monet executed in 1884 of the cliffs at Petites-Dalles. One of the other three works was formerly in the collection of Mr. David Lloyd Kreeger, a renowned American philanthropist who was president and chairman of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington for nearly 20 years. While the Kreeger picture now hangs in the permanent collection of The Kreeger Museum in Washington D.C., the present work is one of the two remaining in private hands.
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