Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist in January 1900)
Durand-Ruel, New York
Harris Whittemore, New York (acquired from the above and sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 19-20, 1948, lot 175)
Kurt Stern (acquired at the above sale)
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York
Pedro Vallenilla de Echeverria, Caracas (sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, October 14, 1965, lot 130)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Monet, 1898, no. 22 or 23
Baltimore Museum of Art, Contrasts in Impressionism, 1942, no. 16
Baltimore Museum of Art, circa 1943 (on loan)
Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes, Colección Pedro Vallenilla de Echeverria, circa 1960, no. 53
Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts; Chicago, The Art Institute; London, The Royal Academy of Art, Monet in the '90s. The Series Paintings, 1989, no. 73 (as dating from 1896-97)
Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de I'Impressionnisme, vol. I, Paris, 1939, discussed p. 374
Oscar Reuterswärd, Monet, Stockholm, 1948, discussed p. 289
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, Lausanne & Paris, 1979, no. 1465, illustrated p. 209; discussed in pièce justificatives no. 134, p. 301
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonné, vol. IV, Lausanne and Paris 1985, discussed in letter no. 1497, p. 341
Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, Cologne, 1996, no. 1465, illustrated p. 608 (the date of the picture is cropped in the illustration)
Monet first painted this coastal view, lying to the east of Pourville, in 1896 (Wildenstein, vol. III, no. 1430). While the Impressionist landscape often conjures nostalgia for a more peaceful time before vast cities and industrialization forever changed our experience of nature, it is worth noting that the Impressionists felt they were struggling against a tide of modernization and gentrification. Returning to the same site a year later, the artist found his access to it seriously threatened, “It so happens that the spot at which I have begun so many canvases, higher up, towards Dieppe, is going to be closed to the public; a Dieppe company has rented all of this land starting from the Val Saint-Nicolas in order to use it for playing all sorts of English games, as well as archery and pigeon-shooting” (Quoted in Daniel Wildenstein, op. cit., p. 606). Monet lamented the destruction of such unspoiled terrain and captured its beauty in several more canvases, adopting almost exactly the same vantage point.
These paintings of the Normandy coast were the first works Monet completed after the exhibition of his Rouen Cathedral series. Thus in this and other paintings from the series, his concern with capturing the fugitive effects of light and atmosphere and the way they transform a landscape predominates. Paul Hayes Tucker commented, “What is striking about these pictures is their rather extra-ordinary palette of pinks, soft oranges, sea greens, pale violets, and light blues – pastel shades that he had not employed as consistently as in earlier works” (Monet in the 90s (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1990, p. 212).
Tucker has written about the pictures that Monet completed during his sojourn on the Normandy coast in the late 1890s: "The coast also offered Monet the opportunity to state his beliefs about the value of landscape painting in a direct and personal way, instead of employing symbols such as cathedrals, poplars, or grain stacks. It provided him only with the most basic materials: earth, sea, and sky. Moreover, because he was free to choose a variety of motifs, he was also able to challenge the restraining assumption that he was interested exclusively in capturing fleeting moments of time or specific effects of light. In fact, many of the pictures in these series are of an indeterminate time of day .... Going back to the Channel also allowed Monet to return to his roots, assess his previous work, and test the Northern tradition of landscape painting on which his art had so long and firmly rested" (ibid pp. 193-94).
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