This work will be included in the forthcoming Monet Digital Catalogue Raisonné, being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.
Gabriela Zapolska, Paris Private collection, Paris
This beautiful pastel drawing, sketched from the motif, testifies to Claude Monet’s interest in atmospheric studies and effects of light which would characterize his entire oeuvre. The free treatment induced by the pastel medium, allowed him to quickly capture the subtleties of colour and the variations of the seascape. With this very accomplished view of the Normandy coast near Honfleur we are clearly situated at the eve of the great aesthetic transformations that Monet would bring about as figure head of the Impressionist movement. This work is stylistically very close to other pastels dating from the end of the 1860s. The subject is clearly related to a work which depicts the same seaside bank below Honfleur (Wildenstein, Volume.V, n. 24, p. 159) and the signature is similar to one found on a drawing precisely dated to 1868 (Wildenstein, Volume.V, n. 20, p. 158).
Executed on grey/blue wove paper, not laid down, hinged to the mount in two places along the upper edge with tape. The sheet is slightly undulating. The extreme edges are slightly unevenly cut. Examination under UV light reveals no evidence of retouching. There is a vertical repaired tear (approx. 1.5 cm long) to the right part of the lower edge. There is some minor frame rubbing along the extreme edges. There are a few superficial scratches notably to the lower part of the sky and towards the centre of the lower edge. The sheet is slightly light stained. Colours are very fresh and vivid. This work is in overall 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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."