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

Arbres fruitiers

Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Arbres fruitiers
pastel on buff paper
9 x 11½ in. (22.8 x 29.3 cm.)
drawn circa 1865-1875
Dikran K. Kelekian, New York.
Edmond Simon; sale, Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, 6 January 1954, lot 60.
Rita Donger, Long Island (acquired at the above sale).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 11 May 2000, lot 113.
Jan Krugier, acquired at the above sale.
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, 1991, vol. V, p. 168, no. P 75 (illustrated; with inverted dimensions).
Vienna, Albertina Museum, Goya bis Picasso: Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, April-August 2005, p. 138, no. 54 (illustrated in color, p. 139).
London, The Royal Academy of Arts and Williamstown, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, March-September 2007, p. 302, no. 73 (illustrated in color, p. 83).

Lot Essay

Monet's use of pastel as an exploratory medium is interesting in that the bulk of his pastels appear to be independent and complete works on their own and not preparatory studies for a more complete or finished image in another medium. The majority of Monet's pastels, therefore, were conceived as extensions to his pictorial repertoire. While he traveled widely and painted many different themes, Monet the pastellist narrowed his focus considerably to a more personal locale. The majority of his pastels can be traced to a small corner of Normandy, within a fifty-mile radius of the Seine estuary, where Monet grew up and took his first faltering steps as an artist, and an area to which he remained loyal his entire life.

The present pastel is prominent among a group of pastels related to Monet's Ferme en Normandie. "With all the hallmarks of a Saint-Siméon motif, this warm, chalky image leads us directly to the pastels of [Eugène] Boudin, and his evocation of the region and its characteristic vegetation. Monet's precocious sheet represents a cluster of trees heavy with apples, absorbing the warm light of late summer or early fall and is thus consistent with the last weeks of his stay in the Honfleur area, before he returned to Paris in late 1864" (in op. cit., p. 84).

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