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Vagues … la Manneporte signed 'Claude Monet' (lower left) oil on canvas 29 x 361/2 in. (73.7 x 92.7 cm.) Painted circa 1885 PROVENANCE John Singer Sargent, London (acquired from the artist, 1887); estate sale, Christie's, London, 27 July 1925, lot 302. D. Croal Thompson, London (acquired at the above sale). M. Knoedler & Co., Ltd., London. Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London. J.W. Bravington, London. F.B.C. Bravington, London (by descent from the above). Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., London. John G. McConnell, Montreal. Anon. sale, Sotheby's, London, 23 March 1983, lot 20. LITERATURE E. Charteris, John Singer Sargent, New York, 1927, pp. 96-97, 100. C. M. Mount, Monet, New York, 1966, p. 336. D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et Catalogue raisonn‚, Lausanne, 1979, vol. II, p. 178, no. 1036 (illustrated, p. 179). F. Weitzenhoffer, "The Earliest American Collectors of Monet", Aspects of Monet, New York, 1984, p. 86 D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonn‚, Lausanne, 1991. vol. V, Suppl‚ment, p. 44, no. 1036. M. Alphant, Claude Monet, une vie dans le paysage, Paris, 1993, p. 344. D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonn‚, Cologne, 1996, vol. III, p. 392, no. 1036 (illustrated). EXHIBITION London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., Nineteenth and Twentieth Century French Paintings from English Private Collections, June-July 1965, no. 24 (illustrated, p. 32). London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., A Tribute to Paul Maze: The Painter and His Time, May-June 1967, no. 91. San Diego Museum of Art, Monet: The Late Paintings in Context, June-August 1998. NOTES In January of 1883, Monet visited Etretat and viewed the locale with renewed enthusiasm. Inspired by the dramatic coastline, with its impressive cliffs and rock formations, he returned again in 1885 and 1886. Throughout the nineteenth century, artists such as Courbet, Delacroix, Diaz and Isabey had been attracted to this small fishing village located halfway between Le Havre and Dieppe. By the time Monet was painting there, the cliffs were famous and Etretat had become a popular summer resort. Monet chose to paint in the off-season in order to avoid tourists, and the ever-changing weather conditions of the area and to capture the spectacular formations of the cliffs during all times of the day. Monet painted several views of the motif seen in the present painting, the natural wonders of the Normandy coast and the rocky arch of the Manneporte. Two of these paintings are today in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (W. 832 and 1052) and another is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (W. 1037). Robert L. Herbert described the artist's output during this time: Monet was a prodigious worker...On 17 November and again on the 19th, for example, he spent the morning at La Pass‚e, inland from the village center, the afternoon at the Manneporte, and the early evening up on the flank of the Porte d'Amont. This meant several kilometers of hiking up and down steep inclines, although he probably paid someone to help him transport his material. On another day he worked at six different sites. At times he hired a boat to take him across the bay to the Trou … l'homme, and around the tip of the Aval to the Cap d'Antifer; he probably also used a boat to reach the bay of the Manneporte. (R.L. Herbert, Monet on the Normandy Coast, New Haven, 1994, pp. 100-101) The present work is one of four paintings by Monet owned by John Singer Sargent, whose work reveals the strong and abiding influence of the French Impressionist's technique. Sargent acquired the present painting from Monet in 1887 and wrote him the following note to express his enthusiasm for it: It is with great reluctance that I pull myself away from your delectable painting for which "you do not share my admiration" (you jest!) to tell you once again how much I do admire it. I could remain in front of it for hours on end in a state of voluptuous stupor, or of enchantment if you prefer. I am delighted to have at home such a source of pleasure... (quoted in E. Charteris, John Sargent, New York, 1927, p. 97) (fig. 1) John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood, circa 1885 Tate Gallery, London.
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