- Claude Monet
- Près Monte-Carlo
- Signed Claude Monet and dated 83 (lower left)
- Oil on canvas
- 25 7/8 by 32 1/4 in.
- 65.6 by 82 cm
A. W. Kingman, New York (acquired from the above in 1886)
Durand-Ruel, New York (acquired from the above on March 5, 1896)
Durand-Ruel, Paris (transfer from the above in June 1896)
Galerie Paul Cassirer, Berlin (acquired on consignment from Durand-Ruel on October 25, 1917)
Art Gallery Georg Caspari, Munich (acquired from the above on October 25, 1917)
Louis Koch, Frankfurt-am-Main
Robert von Hirsch, Basel (by inheritance from the above and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 26-27, 1976, lot 721)
Cyril Humphris (acquired at the above sale)
Private Collection (acquired in 2000 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 3, 2006, lot 3)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Reims, Palais de l'Industrie, 1896
Mulhouse, 7e exposition des Beaux-Arts, 1899, no. 248
London, Grafton Galleries, Pictures by Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, 1905, no. 109
Venice, Exhibition Palace, 6e exposition internationale des Beaux-Arts, 1905
Kunsthalle Basel, Catalogue des peintures, dessins, sculptures, gravures et objets d'art decorative de lécole française contemporaine, 1906, no. 476
Budapest, Nemzeti Szalon, Modern Francia Festészet, 1907, no. 38
Munich, Moderne Galerie, Impressionisten-Ausstellung, 1909, no. 26 (titled Kap Martin)
Florence, Lyceum Club, Prima Mostra italiana dell'Impressionismo, 1910, no. 40
Berlin, Paul Cassirer, XV. Jahrgang. Sommerausstellung, 1913
Berlin, Paul Cassirer, XVI. Jahrgang. Sommerausstellung, 1914
(possibly) Kunsthaus Zürich, Claude Monet, 1840-1926, 1952, no. 59 (titled Cap Martin and dated 1884)
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Lausanne & Paris, vol. II, 1979, no. 851, illustrated p. 113 and discussed in letter no. 432, p. 241
Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1991, vol. V, no. 851, listed p. 41
Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 851, illustrated in color p. 316
Christine Eluère, Monet et la Riviera, Paris, 2006, no. 8, illustrated in color p. 13
Joachim Pissarro writes how upon arriving in the Mediterranean region Monet was immediately “seized by a desire to respond to these new stimuli. Not only did this trip put an end to the ‘century-long’ imprisonment at Durand-Ruel’s but it also plunged him into an entirely alien world, rich with marvelously strange vegetation, exotic fragrances, and, of course, brilliant colors” (Pissarro, op. cit. p. 28). Près Monte Carlo was one of the first works executed by Monet on the shores of Monte Carlo and is amongst the finest seaside images of this period. The work depicts a seascape with rocks and vegetation, all elements that he was craving to see, experience and paint while he was in Paris. Monet’s quick Impressionistic brushstrokes and wide spectrum of color give the piece a dynamic sense of movement and a luminous quality. Moreover, the artist captures the beauty of his scenery with a extensive color palette that creates a glowing effect in the sky which is mirrored in the water.
Monet was fascinated with light and color throughout his career and Près Monte Carlo exemplifies how his unconventional coloration captures the viewer. The work is primarily comprised of blue and green hues that are common in a seaside landscape. Yet, Monet magnificently employs yellow and pink tones that hold the eye of the viewer and convey the dazzling light of this Mediterranean region. Renoir was also stimulated by the Mediterranean, and painted Paysage près de Menton where he also tried to capture the unique light of the region. Renoir wrote to Durand-Ruel in December 1883, “we saw everything, or almost, from Marseille to Genoa. It is all superb, skylines you have no idea of. This evening the mountains were pink” (N. Wadley, Renoir: A Retrospective, New York, 1987, p. 159).
Despite the success of the Impressionists in the 1870s, Monet was somewhat ambivalent about being closely associated with the other artists. He returned to the Mediterranean shores on two more extended trips from 1884 to 1908 as he was hoping to, “hone a more clearly individual idiom” (J. Pissarro, op. cit. p. 19).
Près Monte Carlo was one of the first paintings completed in the Mediterranean and it was Monet's fascination with this region which reinvigorated the artist and helped him to produce, “some of the most powerful, resonant, and innovative paintings he had ever produced— work that went well beyond Impressionism” (ibid).