Lot 55
  • 55

Claude Monet

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
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  • Claude Monet
  • Chevaux à la pointe de la Hève
  • Signed Claude Monet and dated 64 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 21 1/4 by 29 in.
  • 54 by 73.5 cm


Léon Monet, Rouen (circa 1910)

Private Collection (circa 1969)

Wildenstein Gallery, New York (by 1969)

Private Collection, Chicago (acquired from the above in 1989)

Private Collection

Acquired from the above in 1993


Georges Dubosc, "Claude Monet au Havre," Journal de Rouen, Rouen, December 23, 1910, p. 4

Georges Dubosc, "Claude Monet en Normandie," Journal de Rouen, Rouen, December 8, 1926

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Lausanne-Paris, 1974, illustrated p. 135

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. V, Supplément aux peintures, dessins, pastels, index, Lausanne, 1991, p. 22

Gary Tinterow & Henri Loyrette, Origins of Impressionism (exhibition catalogue), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris & The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994-95, fig. 414, illustrated p. 421

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 40, illustrated p. 2



Very good condition. The canvas is lined. Under UV, there are some isolated spots of retouching in the center sky to the right, and in the upper sky at the left. There are a few feathery strokes of retouching along the top edge.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Chevaux à la pointe de la Hève dates from the summer of 1864, when Monet spent his days painting en plein air alongside his mentor Johan-Barthold Jongkind.  

The present composition provided the inspiration for a closely-related larger version, now in the Kimbell Art Museum, that Monet would submit for inclusion at the Salon of 1865.  While that later version was painted in Monet's studio upon his return to Paris in the winter of 1864-65, the present composition, painted on site, preserves the freshness of the scene in coastal Honfleur overlooking the gray and choppy waters of the Channel.  While it bears many of the structural qualities of an academic landscape, Monet's painting, in its freedom of brushwork and use of light and shadow, offers a glimmer of events to come in the next decade with the official debut of the Impressionists in 1874.

Both Chevaux à la pointe de la Hève and the larger La Pointe de la Hève à marée basse are greatly indebted to the influences of seascapes by Jongkind, Frédéric Bazille and Eugène Boudin, but Monet's novel approach to capturing the textural nuances of land, sky and sea heralded the strides he would take towards becoming the leader of the avant-garde in the coming decade.  When he submitted his larger seascape to the Salon, the critic Pigalle wrote that Monet was "the author of the most original and supple, firmly and harmoniously painted seascape exhibited in a long time... It has the same dull tonalities as the work of Courbet, but it is so rich and it looks so simple!  M. Monet, unknown yesterday, has immediately made a name for himself with this single painting." (Pigalle, L'Autographe uu Salon de 1865 et dans les ateliers, Paris, 1865)

A panoramic photograph from this era shows the beach at Saint-Adresse and La Pointe de la Hève in the distance.  In both the present composition and the painting at the Kimbell Art Museum, Monet has faithfully reproduced the slopes and craggy out-croppings of the cliff in the true style of a realist.  It is in his treatment of the sky, with its varyingly dense clouds and sea foam created with unmitigated application of oil paint, that we see the radical direction that his Impressionist paintings would take in the next decade.

Chevaux à la pointe de la Hève once belonged in the private collection of Léon Monet (1836-1917), the artist's older brother who lived in Rouen.   It presumably remained in the Monet family for the next several decades.