Lot 66
  • 66

Claude Monet

2,500,000 - 3,500,000 USD
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  • Claude Monet
  • Faisans, b├ęcasses et perdrix
  • Signed Claude Monet (upper left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 35 1/8 by 26 7/8 in.
  • 89 by 68.5 cm


Theulier, Paris (acquired from the artist in December 1879)

Marsault, Paris

Boussod, Valadon et Cie, Paris (acquired in 1889)

Dupuis, Paris (acquired from the above in 1889 and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 10, 1891, lot 40)

Boussod, Valadon et Cie, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Maurice Lonquety, Paris (acquired by 1892)

Mme Maurice Lonquety, Paris (acquired from the above)

M. Marbeau, Paris (acquired by circa 1954)

Wildenstein & Co., New York

John T. Dorrance Jr., Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (acquired from the above in 1966 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, October 18, 1989, lot 29)

Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman


(possibly) Paris, La Vie Moderne, Monet, 1880, no. 12

Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, 1912, no. 144

Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Monet, 1931, no. 60

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1992 (on loan)

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993 (on loan)


Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Lausanne & Paris, 1974, no. 551, illustrated pp. 352-353

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 551, illustrated p. 214

David Joel, Monet at Vétheuil, 1878-1883, Woodbridge, 2002, illustrated p. 84


Please contact the Impressionist and Modern Art Department at (212) 606-7360 for the condition report for this lot.
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

Monet returned to painting still-lifes periodically throughout his career, executing an array of traditional subjects, the most rare of which are his depictions of game fowl. Although his choice of subject matter followed a tradition of still-life painting that reached its zenith in the 18th century with artists such as Jean-Siméon Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Monet’s approach to still life was as innovative as his painting of landscapes. Stephan Koja describes Monet’s "unconventional and unpretentious approach to his subject's writing: ‘There is nothing artificial about his arrangements, nor are they welded to a spatial context….Once again, he relied entirely on the effect of colour, endeavouring to apply the stylistic vocabulary he had evolved in his landscape paintings, with its typical short brush-strokes" (S. Koja, in Monet (exhibition catalogue), Belvedere, Vienna, 1996, p. 92). This is especially true of the present work, especially his capturing the texture of the birds' feathers. Monet combines this natural display with fluid, broad brushstrokes that lend the painting a remarkable sense of spontaneity and immediacy.

Like many of his fellow Impressionists Monet often turned to the still life as a lucrative form of employment. As Richard Thomson and Michael Clarke discuss: "The still-life paintings Monet made in the 1878-1883 period served various purposes, providing a break from landscape work and offering an alternative activity in poor weather. But above all they were commercially expedient, at a time when the artist and his family were in pressing need of funds" (R. Thomson & M. Clarke, Monet. The Seine and the Sea 1878-1883 (exhibition catalogue), National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2003, p. 76).

Faisans, bécasses et perdrix is one of the earliest in a series of game bird still-lifes that he completed between 1879 and 1882.  In the early 1880s both Monet and his dealer Durand-Ruel experienced considerable financial difficulties that were exacerbated by the collapse of the Union Générale bank in 1882. This may have inspired the group of still-lifes that Monet worked on over the course of the year and which kept the artist financially afloat during this difficult time. Indeed, still-life painting was a reliably commercial genre, as many collectors could more readily relate to these traditional subjects than some of the more radically avant-garde Impressionist landscapes produced around the same time.  The present work, which exemplifies this principle, was acquired by the collector Theulier in Paris directly from the artist, and remained mostly in private collections before the turn of the century.