Lot 142
  • 142

Claude Monet

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 GBP
Sold
662,500 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Claude Monet
  • Meule, soleil couchant
  • signed Claude Monet (lower right)
  • oil on vellum

Provenance

Arthur Meyer, Paris (commissioned from the artist in late 1908; sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 3rd-6th June 1924, lot 532)
Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (purchased at the above sale)
Art Moderne, Lucerne (sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20th June 1935, lot 46)
Pfeiffer Collection, Paris (purchased at the above sale)
Olivier Senn, Paris
Sale: Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 10th December 1959, lot 22
Private Collection, France (acquired circa 1969; sale: Sotheby's, London, 6th February 2001, lot 117)
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner

Exhibited

Paris, Petit Palais, Maîtres illustrateurs, 1919, no.158-6
Paris, Durand-Ruel, Monet, 1928, no. 46
Paris, Galerie Schmidt, Maîtres français XIXe/XXe siècles, 1979, no. 49
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, La passion du dessin. Collection Jan et Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2002, no. 127, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Vienna, Albertina Museum, Goya bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2005, no. 55, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Das Ewige Auge - Von Rembrandt bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2007, no. 126, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Literature

Arthur Meyer, Mes livres, mes dessins, mes autographes, Paris, 1921, p. 115, no. 461
Adolphe Tabarant, 'La Curiosité', in Le Bulletin de la vie artistique, 1st June 1924, p. 252 & 15th June 1924, p. 275
Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de l'Impressionisme, Paris & New York, 1939, vol. I, pp. 420-21 & 424
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet. Biographie et Catalogue raisonné 1899-1926, Lausanne & Paris, 1985, vol. IV, no. 1773, illustrated p. 247. Lettres de Claude Monet, nos. 1880, 1881 & 1897, pp. 376-77. Lettres de Durand-Ruel à Claude Monet, nos. 207, 210 & 211, pp. 428-29
Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1996, vol. IV, no. 1773, illustrated p. 834

Catalogue Note

The present work is one of only a handful of oils that Monet painted in 1909, mainly due to the illness of his wife Alice. Commissioned by Arthur Meyer, proprietor of the newspaper 'Le Gaulois', Meule, soleil couchant is one of two small paintings that Monet executed that summer; the other work, Paysage à Port-Villez (Wildenstein, op.cit., no. 1774), is in the collection of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo. Both were intended to be used to decorate the binding of Meyer's copy of the original edition of Zola's La Terre, published by Edition Charpentier et Cie., Paris in 1887.

The motif of the hay-stack occupies a critical position in Monet's work. With his series executed between 1889 and 1891, Monet revitalised the Impressionist tradition, elevating it to a new plane, while celebrating the timeless grandeur of the French countryside. The means by which Monet, for the first time, systematically repeated a subject in formalist terms became an important inspiration to many leading 20th-century artists. Paul Hayes Tucker describes the importance of the hay-stack pictures as:

'They are the culmination... of Monet's efforts to decentralize Impressionism, as their generic qualities of sight and subject make them, in the end, representations of the French countryside as a whole...these paintings also reveal Monet's intense grouping of a single subject en plein air and his evident desire to abstract highly refined variations from that one motif. No one could say that these canvases were dashed off or that Monet lacked discipline, seriousness, or skill. Indeed, his palette appears expansive in these works, his brushwork a brilliant combination of description and independence, his compositions both classical and novel, his sensitivity to light astonishingly artful yet strikingly believable...these paintings...would earn Monet his long sought place in the hierarchy of contemporary art' (Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet in the Nineties, The Series Paintings, New Haven, 1989, p. 34).

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