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CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)
CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)

Cap Martin

CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)
Cap Martin
signed 'Claude Monet' (lower right)
oil on canvas
29¼ x 36½ in. (69.2 x 92.7 cm.)
Painted in 1884
Durand-Ruel et Cie. and Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the artist, December 1920).
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1922.
Sam Salz, New York.
Gustave Berne, Great Neck, New York.
John Schumacher, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Seward Johnson, United States; sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 5 November 1981, lot 183A.
Galerie Beyeler, Basel.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 28 November 1988, lot 12.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Lausanne, 1979, p. 128, no. 894 (illustrated).
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, p. 334, no. 894 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Claude Monet, January-February 1921, no. 19 (incorrectly dated 1888).
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Claude Monet, January 1922, no. 8.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, March-May 1975, p. 179, no. 122 (illustrated; incorrectly dated 1888).
Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum of Art, Monet and the Mediterranean, June 1997-January 1998, no. 41 (illustrated in color, p. 112).

Lot Essay

On 17 January 1884 Monet set off on his second trip to the Mediterranean, having explored the area once before with Renoir in late 1883. This time, however, he traveled alone, asking his dealer Durand-Ruel "to say nothing about it to anyone, not because I want to make a mystery about it but because I want to go alone. I've always worked better in solitude following my own impressions" (quoted in P.H. Tucker, op. cit., exh. cat., 1997-1998, p. 119).

Monet believed that in order to depict this glorious environment, one needed a "palette of diamonds and jewels" (ibid., p. 120). Trying to achieve this effect, he adjusted his palette to depict the warm nuances of the blue water and the surrounding vegetation, which was shown in shades of blue and red. Additionally, Monet furthered his technique by using white as a ground rather than his more typical use of black, in order to better depict his own impressions. In the catalogue of the Monet and Mediterranean exhibition, Joachim Pissarro noted of the Cap Martin paintings:

It is sheer visual interaction between elements, taken in their bare simplicity that is of interest to him. Drawing upon the same serial principle, water, rocks and vegetation are depicted as they change their appearances with shifts in weather and light. As in previous groups, the contrast between the various elements in these works is stronger when the sunlight is dimmer. There is about these works a sense of directness, a forthrightness in the treatment and the selection of the motifs, that demonstrates the confidence Monet developed during his ten-week southern trip... Here, Monet goes further than Monet. (Quoted in J. Pissarro, op. cit., exh. cat., 1997-1998, p. 110)

(fig. 1) Claude Monet's studio where the present painting may be identified, circa 1904.
Photograph courtesy of Durand-Ruel Archives.

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