Lot 49
  • 49

Claude Monet

6,000,000 - 8,000,000 USD
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  • Claude Monet
  • Le Chemin d'Epinay, effet de neige
  • Signed Claude Monet (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 24 by 39 1/8 in.
  • 61 by 99.5 cm


(possibly) Collection of the artist (Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Vente M., April 14, 1876, lot 38)

Mme Henri Goiran (née Lucie Chouanard), Paris (acquired circa 1917 and until at least 1945)

Private Collection (sold: Sotheby’s, London, June 28, 1967, lot 42)

Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York (acquired at the above sale)

Mr. & Mrs. David Bakalar, Boston (acquired from the above in 1967 and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 14, 1984, lot 4)

Acquired at the above sale


(possibly) Paris, Durand-Ruel, Exposition des impressionnistes, Catalogue de la 2e Exposition de peinture, par MM. Béliard, Legros,  1876, no. 150

New York, Wildenstein & Co., Monet, 1945, no. 30 (titled La Seine à Argenteuil)

New York, Richard L. Feigen & Co., Claude Monet, 1969, no. 9, illustrated in the catalogue


(possibly) Armande Silvestre, "Exposition de la rue Le Peletier," L’Opinion nationale, Paris, 1876

(possibly) Emile Blémont, "Les Impressionnistes," Le Rappel, Paris, 1876, p. 3

René Chavange, "Claude Monet," in Le Figaro artistique, Paris, December 16, 1926, illustrated p. 149

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Paris & Lausanne, 1974,  no. 388, illustrated p. 281

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. V, Paris & Lausanne, 1991, p. 30

Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet at Argenteuil, New Haven and London, 1982, fig. 125, illustrated 

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 388, illustrated p. 160


Good and stable condition. Original canvas which was strengthened at the edges with a thin strip lining. There is an additional loose unattached dust canvas to the reverse. The colors are fresh and vibrant. Under UV light, there are several spots of retouching visible mainly to the sky and water in the upper and lower left, along the framing edges. There is also an area of retouching which is approximately 17cm above the lower framing edge and 30cm from the left edge, otherwise the work is in good condition.
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

Resplendant with the glimmer and frosty sheen of snow and ice, Le Chemin d'Epinay, effet de neige, painted in 1875, depicts the trodden road leading into the town of Épinay-sur-Seine on the outskirts of Paris.  This picture dates from the height of Monet's involvement with the Impressionist group in Paris, when the artist was considered the premier landscape painter among the group.  The present work may have been included in the historic second group showing of the Impressionists in 1876, as both it and a picture currrently in the collection of the Albright-Knox Gallery match the description of one listed in the 1876 catalogue.   

Monet painted his first snow scene in Honfleur in 1865, and returned to this subject again in early 1867 in a series of winter landscapes inspired by a heavy snowfall that winter.   In 1868, Léon Billot gave an account of Monet painting out-of-doors in the snow, a vivid proof of the artist's dedication to capturing the effects of light on the frozen landscape: "It was during winter, after several snowy days, when communications had almost been interrupted. The desire to see the countryside beneath its white shroud had led us across the fields. It was cold enough to split rocks. We glimpsed a little heater, then an easel, then a gentleman swathed in three overcoats, with gloved hands, his face half-frozen. It was M. Monet studying an aspect of the snow" (L. Billot, 'Exposition des Beaux-Arts', in Journal du Havre, October 9, 1868).   

Monet executed a number of snow-covered landscapes throughout his career, but those that he completed in the mid-1870s are considered among his most technically sophisticated.  Writing about Monet's snow scenes, Eliza E. Rathbone observed: "The Impressionists, and above all Monet, determined to record the complete spectrum: deep snow in brilliant sunshine, creating the bluest of blue shadows; snow under a low, gray winter sky that shrouds nature in a single tonality; landscapes so deep in snow that all details are obscured, evoking a silent world; even snow melting along a country road at sunset; or, perhaps most striking, a sky filled with snow falling. Of all the Impressionists, Monet painted the largest number of snowscapes and the greatest variety of site, time of day, quality of light, and quality of snow itself. He was not only interested in a relatively traditional conception of a snowy landscape, but he found beauty in unexpected phenomena of winter. He brought to his snowscapes his desire to experiment both with new technique and with formal invention" (E. E. Rathbone, 'Monet, Japonisme, and Effets de Neige', in ibid., p. 25).

The present work is closely related to a composition currently in the collection of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York (Wildenstein no. 389). This picture's first owner of record was Lucie Chouanard, a member of a prominent family of industrialists in Paris.  Her father, Emile, was best known as the head of the tool manufacturing company, "Aux Forges de Vulcain," which went on to manufacture airplane parts during World War II.  The Chouanard family were also noted art collectors, and Lucie may have inherited this work from her father.  In 1937 Lucie married Henri Goiran, the French-born diplomat who was appointed to the French consulate in New York City in 1907. After the Second World War, Goiran's work would later focus on teaching and writing, and he was awarded the Legion of Honor.  The couple's only son, Roger Goiran, would eventually become the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency in Tehran in the 1950s.