PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Jacques Charles, Paris (circa 1918)
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, November 30, 1942, lot 98
Pierre Colle, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Maître Binoche, Paris, June 12, 2002, lot 35
Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht
Acquired from the above
Monet painted La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Honfleur at the dawning of his career in 1864, while he spent the summer working in the Norman village of Honfleur. In the company of his mentor Johan Barthold Jongkind, Monet set up his easel outside the 17th century church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and painted this detailed view of its façade. It is believed that the two artists were working side-by-side at this point, as Jongkind executed a watercolor of a similar view of the church that September. While it bears many of the structural qualities of an academic landscape, Monet's painting, in its freedom of brushwork and use of light and shadow, offers a glimmer of events to come in the next decade with the official debut of the Impressionists in 1874.
According to Daniel Wildenstein, an insolvent, young Monet was forced to turn over this painting to state debt collectors in 1865-66. The next time that the artist saw his composition was nearly half a century later, when Georges Bernheim brought it to him at Giverny in 1918. "Une oeuvre de ma jeunesse," Monet smiled when he saw it (quoted in R. Gimpel, Journal d'un collectionneur, Paris, 1963, p. 87).
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