Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Le panier de pommes

Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Le panier de pommes
signed and dated 'Claude Monet 1880' (upper right)
oil on canvas
25½ x 32 in. (65 x 81 cm.)
Painted in 1888
Frederic Delius, Paris (acquired from the artist, 1883).
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, 1 June 1896).
Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris (by 1901).
By descent from the above to the present owner.
G. Geffroy, "Chronique. Cl. Monet," La Justice, 15 March 1883, p. 2.
G. Grappe, Paris, 1909, p. 43 (illustrated).
G. Lecomte, "Cl. Monet ou le vieux chêne de Giverny," La Renaissance, October 1920, p. 408 (illustrated).
A. Alexandre, 1921, p. 69.
L. Venturi, Les archives de l'impressionnisme, Paris, 1939, vol. I, p. 248.
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1974, vol. I, p. 384, no. 630 (illustrated, p. 385).
S. Monneret, "L'impressionnisme et son époque", Dictionnaire International, Paris, 1978, vol. I, p. 190.
D. Wildenstein, Monet, catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1996, vol. II, p. 240, no. 630 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Catalogue de l'exposition des oeuvres de Claude Monet, March 1883, no. 5.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Exposition de tableaux de Monet, Pissarro, Renoir et Sisley, April 1899, no. 9.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Exposition de natures mortes par Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, A. André,G. d'Espagnat, Lerolle, April-May 1908, no. 9.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Oeuvres importantes de Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, January 1925, no. 31.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet, 1840-1926, April 1931, no. 10.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, November 1932, no. 7.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Masterpieces by Claude Monet, 1840-1926, March-April 1933, no. 7.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, October-November 1934, no. 11.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Exposition de tableaux, Claude Monet, de 1865 à 1888, Paris, November-December 1935, no. 32.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Monet to Picasso, Still Life, March 1944, no. 12.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Exposition Claude Monet, 1840-1926, May-September 1959, no. 27.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Claude Monet, January-February 1970, no. 25.

Lot Essay

The dining room of Joseph Durand-Ruel, 37 rue de Rome, Paris with the
present lot between the two doors. BARCODE 12942626.

©c Document Archives Durand-Ruel

The present picture is one of a group of at least twenty-three still-lifes that Monet painted at Vétheuil between 1878 and 1880. Although he worked in still-life only intermittently during his long career, Monet's achievement in the genre has been widely recognized. Paul Tucker describes the artist's still-lifes as "charming, lusciously painted, and often quite novel" (in Claude Monet: Life and Art, New Haven, 1995, p. 122), while John House asserts, "Monet's explorations of this subject include some of the most lavish still-lifes produced by the Impressionist group, and some of the most radical challenges to a long-standing still-life tradition" (Monet: Nature into Art, New Haven, 1986, p. 43).

Le panier de pommes depicts an informal arrangement of velvety apples, piled into a shallow basket and spilling across a narrow, wooden table. The scene is suffused with a pale, golden light, which lends a flickering iridescence to the glossy surface of the fruit. Discussing the fruit still-lifes that Monet made at Vétheuil, House writes, "In these paintings, Monet explored various ways of breaking down the traditional rigidity of the genre. Fruit is scattered informally across table tops which are tipped up toward the viewer, creating a rich weave of color and texture. Courbet's fruit still-lifes of the early 1870s had rejected more conventional arrangements in order to emphasize the physical palpability of the fruit itself, but it was Monet's still-lifes of around 1880 that more systematically undermined the conventions of the then-dominant Chardin tradition...Monet played down the physicality of the objects in favor of emphasizing their optical effect, with the informatlity of their grouping suggesting that this effect has been rapidly perceived, rather than carefully ordered" (ibid., p. 42).

In addition to aesthetic considerations, Monet's interest in still-life painting in the late 1870s was probably spurred in part by commercial concerns. The years at Vétheuil were a period of great financial hardship for the artist, and his still-life paintings, particularly the fruit and game compositions, were more readily saleable and yielded higher prices than his landscapes during this period. The present canvas, along with a painting of pears and grapes (Wildenstein no. 631), was purchased in 1883 by a Parisian collector named Frederic Delius, who paid 1,400 francs for the pair, more than twice the yearly rent on Monet's house at Vétheuil. Charles Stuckey has declared, "Financially speaking, landscape painter Monet was saved by his work in still-life" (in Monet at Vétheuil: The Turning Point, exh. cat., University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 1998, p. 56).

Of the five paintings of fruit that Monet made at Vétheuil, the present example is the only one that remains in private hands.

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