28 June 2001
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Jeune homme à la chevelure romantique
signed 'C. Monet' (lower left)
pencil on paper
18 7/8 x 11 3/8in. (47.6 x 28.9cm.)
Drawn in Le Havre 1857-58
Michel Monet, Giverny.
Madame Giordanago, daughter in law of Michel Monet.
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D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Milan 1971 and 1974, no. 26 (illustrated p. 88).
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Supplément aux peintures, dessins, pastels, Lausanne 1991, vol. V, no. D475 (illustrated p. 140).
Ecossais à la pipe (lot 407) and Jeune homme à la chevelure romantique (lot 408) belong to a group of caricatural drawings executed by Monet in 1857-58, whilst he was a student in Le Havre, and are considered amongst the artist's most interesting and accomplished juvenilia. At the Le Havre collège the young Oscar-Claude was taught the essentials of drawing by François-Charles Ochard, a former pupil of David who had exhibited portraits at the 1835 and 1837 Salons.
Monet's apprenticeship in caricature went hand in hand with drawing, and his early achievements display an exceptionally precocious talent. The Le Havre caricatures, executed by a witty, confident hand, show how Monet's artistic tendencies, although forged in an academic environment, emerged spontaneously and in a strongly unorthodox direction.
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