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

Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken

Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken
stamped with the signature 'Claude Monet' (Lugt 1819b; lower right)
oil on canvas
28¾ x 36¼ in. (73 x 92 cm.)
Painted in 1895
Michel Monet, Giverny.
Mr and Mrs Alfred Daber, Paris, a gift from the above in February 1965; sale, Sotheby's, London, 26 April 1967, lot 23.
Brook Street Gallery, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 3 April 1979, lot 20.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 13 November 1984, lot 107.
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York.
Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in October 1993.
S. Cotté, Monet, Paris, 1974, fig. 22.
K. Hellandsjø, Monet i Norge - 1895, Hovikodden, 1974, p. 17 (illustrated).
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, Geneva, 1979, no. 1399, p. 184 (illustrated p. 183).
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. V, Paris, 1991, no. 1399, p. 50.
M. Alphant, Claude Monet, une vie dans le paysage, Paris, 1993, p. 546.
D. Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, Cologne, 1996, no. 1399, p. 580 (illustrated p. 579).
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Impressionnistes, October - November 1967, no. 21.

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Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas
Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas

Lot Essay

Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken was painted during Claude Monet's 1895 trip to Norway. Apparently frustrated by the changeability of the winter conditions that so fascinated him at his home in Giverny, he decided to head further North, to a place where the snow and ice would remain longer, allowing him a greater scope for capturing the light and colour effects that so intrigued him.

On arriving in Christiania - present day Oslo - Monet found himself tired and also lacking in views that gained his satisfaction. Accordingly, he travelled to a place called Sandviken, near to which was Bjørnegaard, a village with an 'artists' farm' (see D. Wildenstein, Monet or The Triumph of Impressionism, Cologne, 1996, p. 304). Monet stayed there alongside a number of other cultural guests - writers and artists. He was able to wander around his surroundings in search of a variety of motifs, including Mount Kolsaas, which he captured in several views. Similarly, the landscape shown in Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken clearly interested Monet, as he showed the same view in a series of paintings, including one now in the Art Institute of Chicago. In this series, Monet depicted Sandviken, with the Løkke bridge in the foreground. In the Chicago work, Monet created greater contrasts between the dark material of the wood, the trees and the distant mountains; in Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken, by contrast, there is a scumbled, soft light, as though perhaps it were snowing. There is a closer harmony between the colours, many of which are variations of pink and blue, adding a crepuscular tone to the scene.

For decades, Monet had been fascinated by Japanese art. Just as Vincent van Gogh had sought out an equivalent of Japan in the South of France, Monet appears to have sought one out in Norway. Indeed, judging by his letters, he found it: he wrote that this corner of Sandviken, 'resembles a Japanese village' (Monet, quoted ibid., p. 306). Certainly, looking at the composition of Paysage de Norvège, Sandviken, it appears remarkable the extent to which it echoes the compositions of Hiroshige which he would have known so well, for instance Evening Snow at Kambara, from the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.

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