Lot 8
  • 8

Claude Monet

4,000,000 - 6,000,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Claude Monet
  • Vétheuil
  • Signed Claude Monet and dated 80 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 23 5/8 by 31 1/2 in.
  • 60 by 80 cm


(probably) Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1881)

George N. Tyner, Holyoke, Massachusetts (sold: Waldorf-Astoria, New York, February 1, 1901, lot 67)

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Montaignac, Paris (acquired from the above on March 11, 1903)

Maurice Masson, Paris (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Vente M. Masson, June 22, 1911, no. 25)

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris & Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris

Margarethe Krupp, Villa Hügel, Essen, inventory KH 345 (acquired from the above in March 1914 for RM 22,000 on the advice of the director of the Kunstmuseum Essen, Ernst Gosebruch)

Thence by descent


Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Collection Maurice Masson, 1911, no. 26

Essen, Villa Hügel, Aus der Gemäldesammlung der Familie Krupp, 1965, no. 65


Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne & Paris, 1974, vol. I, no. 607, illustrated p. 375

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, no. 607, illustrated p. 232

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1880, Monet’s stunning Vétheuil depicts the small village of Vétheuil situated along the Seine between the city of Mantes and the town of Vernon, which was the home to Monet and his family from September 1878 until December 1881. This picturesque location was the site of some of Monet’s most successful Impressionist landscapes during this period and continued to fascinate him well into his late career. The natural beauty of the region appealed to the artist, as did the impressive medieval architecture that could be seen from many points in the surrounding area. Of particular interest to him were the rigid shapes of buildings, most noticeably that of the imposing tenth century church of Notre Dame de Vétheuil, juxtaposed against the patchwork of the landscape. In the two years that he made Vétheuil his home, Monet executed several views of the village as seen from across the river, with the fragmented reflection of the church and its environs appearing in the ripples of water. This was the view that attracted Monet’s attention again in 1901, when he rented a house on the banks of Lavacourt that summer and, from his balcony overlooking the river, painted fifteen canvases of the view of Vétheuil. Monet’s return to this subject over twenty years later demonstrates a shift in his aesthetic objectives. No longer was he concerned with the buildings as objects per se. Instead, his concentration now focused primarily on the effects of the natural light as it illuminated the region and on the atmospheric quality of the landscape as a whole.

Monet's paintings from Vétheuil evidence a critical development in the evolution of his style, when he began to strike out from the already established techniques of the early Impressionist imagery that he had perfected while living in Argenteuil in the 1870s. Many of these canvases strike a balance between the naturalist-realist origins of Impressionism and a boldly experimental approach to capturing the changing qualities of light. This small stretch of the Seine provided innumerable opportunities for Monet to observe the same, or similar, views in different seasons and at different times of day and to explore the resulting nuances of light and color. Returning to the same stretch of river over a number of years allowed Monet to observe it in all its moods: capturing it bathed in the crisp, golden light of a warm afternoon as in the present work and by way of contrast, in the somber, muted tones that he used to evoke the particularly harsh winter of 1879-80.

With regard to the artist's technique in the 1880s, Andrew Forge wrote: “Color which he now learned to use with an unprecedented purity offers an infinitely subtle and flexible alternative to the traditional massing of light and shade. Systems of interlocking blues and oranges, for example, of lilacs and lemons will carry the eye across the whole surface of the canvas and these color structures, each marvelously turned to the particulars of light will be augmented by a vast range of accents of comma, slash, dot, flake, each attuned economically to its object that the eye is continually at work in its reading” (A. Forge in Claude Monet (exhibition catalogue), Acquavella Galleries, New York, 1976, n.p.).