Lot 16
  • 16

Claude Monet

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Claude Monet
  • Un Moulin à Zaandam
  • signed Claude Monet (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 50 by 75cm.
  • 19 3/4 by 29 1/2 in.

Provenance

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist in March 1872)

François Depeaux, Rouen (acquired from the above on 26th June 1894. Sold: Georges Petit, Paris, 1st June 1906, lot 25)

Paul Rosenberg, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune & Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (jointly purchased at the above sale)

Durand-Ruel Gallery, New York (acquired in 1913)

M. Knoedler & Co., New York (acquired from the above on 17th January 1930)

Paul Cassirer, Berlin

Alex. Reid & Lefevre, London (acquired from the above in 1930)

The 1st Viscount Radcliffe, Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire (acquired from the above on 29th November 1937)

Alex. Reid & Lefevre, London

The 9th Earl of Jersey, Jersey (acquired from the above on 12th May 1943) 

Private Collection, United Kingdom (by descent from the above. Sold: Sotheby's, London, 5th February 2013, lot 15)

Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

The Hague, Haagsche Kunstring, Cercle Artistique, 1893

Berlin, Paul Cassirer, XI. Jahrgang VI. Ausstellung, 1909, no. 7

Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Die klassische Malerei Frankreichs im 19. Jahrhundert, 1912, no. 77

Chicago, Auditorium Hotel, Tableaux Durand-Ruel, 1915

Saint-Louis, Noonan-Kocian Art Gallery, Tableaux Durand-Ruel, 1925

New York, Durand-Ruel Gallery, Rétrospective Cl. Monet, 1927, no. 2

Philadelphia, The Art Club, Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Cl. Monet, 1927, no. 2

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Vincent van Gogh en Zijn Tijdgenooten, 1930, no. 219

Glasgow, Royal Glasgow Institute, 1933, no. 383

London, Alex. Reid & Lefevre, French Painting of the 19th Century: Ingres to Cézanne, 1933, no. 26 (as dating from 1870)

Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada; Toronto, Art Gallery & Montreal, Montreal Art Association, French Painting in the 19th Century, 1934, no. 77

Glasgow, Alex. Reid & Lefevre, French Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries, 1937, no. 38 (as dating from 1870)

London, Alex. Reid & Lefevre, French Masters of the 19th Century, 1937, no. 24 (as dating from 1870)

London, National Gallery, Nineteenth Century French Painting, 1942-43, no. 13 (as dating from circa 1870)

Venice, Gli Impressionisti alla XXIV Biennale di Venezia, 1948, no. 3, illustrated in the catalogue

Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, How Impressionism Began, 1960, no. 39, illustrated in the catalogue

St. Helier, La Société Jersiaise, Centenary Art Exhibition, 1973, no. 7

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Monet in Holland, 1986-87, no. 22, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled The Mill)

Treviso, Casa dei Carraresi, Monet. I luoghi della pittura, 2001-02, no. 6, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Literature

Georges Grappe, Claude Monet, Paris, 1909, illustrated p. 30

Erich Hancke, ‘Die klassische Malerei Frankreichs im 19. Jahrhundert’, in Kunst und Künstler, vol. XI, no. 7, 1912, illustrated p. 64

Gustave Geffroy, ‘C. Monet’, in L’Art et les artistes, vol. II, no. 11, 1920, illustrated p. 58

Arsène Alexandre, Claude Monet, Paris, 1921, illustrated p. 58

Camille Mauclair, Claude Monet, Paris, 1927, illustrated pl. XII

Léon Werth, Claude Monet, Paris, 1928, illustrated pl. 10

Glasgow Evening Citizen, 14th April 1937, illustrated

Illustrated London News, 10th July 1937, illustrated

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1961, illustrated p. 262

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, Paris & Lausanne, 1974, vol. I, no. 171, illustrated p. 195

Hans Edvard Nørregård-Nielsen, 'Monet i Holland', in Meddelelser fra Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1987, illustrated p. 13

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 171, illustrated in colour p. 80

Marc-Henri Tellier, François Depeaux – Le charbonnier et les impressionnistes, Rouen, 2010, no. 293, listed p. 265

Catalogue Note

In the present work Monet depicts a windmill known as ‘Het Oosterkattegat’ which stood on the outskirts of the Zuiddijk in Zaandam (fig. 1). Looking north toward the town, the bell tower of the Oosterzijderkerk can be seen in the distance. The Monet family lived in Zaandam for four months over the summer of 1871. Zaandam was famous for its many mills which performed myriad functions: crushing, pumping, sawing and turning every conceivable material. Appropriately ‘Het Oosterkattegat’ was used to grind pigments. Whilst Monet's wife Camille gave French conversation lessons to the wealthy Van der Stadt family, her husband concentrated on his art. Relatively free of financial worries because of a small inheritance from his late father, Monet produced a number of pictures of the town and its environs in a boldly inventive style. Monet wrote to his friend Camille Pissarro on 2nd June: ‘Zaandam is particularly remarkable and there is enough to paint there for a lifetime’, and again on the 17th: ‘It is marvellous for painting here; there is everything you can find de plus amusant. Houses of all colours, hundreds of windmills and ravishing boats […] and with all this very fine weather, so that already I have several canvases on the go’ (quoted in Monet in Holland (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 99).

Monet worked systematically through a series of twenty-five pictures that explored several areas surrounding Zaandam. The artist focused his attention upon the archetypical motifs of the Dutch landscape, canals, mills, and boats (fig. 2). Ronald Pickvance discusses Un Moulin à Zaandam in the context of the other works: ‘There is, however, one painting that is more finished than the others, and also much more deliberately composed.  In The Mill ‘Het Oosterkattegat’ [the present work], Monet has carefully plotted his composition, so that the planes succeed each other clearly and recession is marked out for the viewer […]. Monet captures the Dutchness, not merely externally – of fishing boat and windmill, town house and luchthuis, river and canal – but also the delicate enveloping light and atmosphere, subtly different from the Ile de France. The superb manner in which he registers the immense and often changing Dutch skies is sufficient proof of this’ (R. Pickvance in ibid., p. 101).

During the early years of the 1870s Monet’s style underwent a transformation. The Franco-Prussian war forced the artist and his young family to seek safety in England where he found the companionship of other artists, such as Pissarro and Daubigny. Whilst in London Monet spent a great deal of time exploring the galleries, especially those containing works by the great English landscape painters Constable and Turner. However, whilst traditional landscape painting held a certain allure for Monet at this time, other more exotic influences occupied his attention. The artist and his contemporaries were fascinated by contemporary Japanese art and this had a profound effect on their own work. The inventive perspectives and clarity found in the works of Japanese artists, such as Hiroshige, provided French painters with new impetus to challenge the Salon-led style of the elder generation. The present work possesses a strong compositional rhythm and panoramic depth which parallels that of the complex asymmetry evident in Japanese woodcuts. However, the evolution of Impressionism is also manifest in Un Moulin à Zaandam. The artist’s use of colour and the areas of lively brushwork represent his gradual development of ideas and attempts to evoke the atmosphere of the landscape. Monet includes subtle, but evocative, signifiers of the weather in the deftly applied pennants flying in the wind, and the striking red sails of the mill and rooftops provide relief against the backdrop of greys that make up the shifting skies.

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