The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil

Artist:
Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)
Date:
1881
Medium:
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions:
39-1/2 x 32 in. (100.3 x 81.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1975.09.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View
Description

The years that Monet spent at a rented pink house in Vétheuil were among the most difficult of his life. The market for his work had collapsed; his wife fell ill and died; his servants all quit. And yet the pictures he painted there, in his lush, sunny garden conceived as an outdoor studio, are among the most exuberant of his career. This view of a path shaded by sunflowers and punctuated with gladioli was one of four studies of the scene that Monet made in the early 1880s. The Norton Simon’s version has long been thought to serve as a preparatory sketch for the largest canvas, today in the collection of the National Gallery of Art. However the artist’s comparatively tight, confident brushwork in this painting—particularly in the handling of the sky and clouds—suggests that it is a more fully realized reduction of the National Gallery’s composition, perhaps made with a bourgeois buyer in mind.

Provenance:

The artist, sold 9 February 1882 to;
[Durand-Ruel, Paris].
d’Alayer, Paris.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, in 1931, still in 1935].
?[Arthur Tooth & Sons, London; by 1936].
[Durand-Ruel, New York, by 1940].
[Sam Salz, New York].
[E. V. Thaw, New York, sold by at least 1957 to];
Mr. and Mrs. William Goetz, Los Angeles.
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin E. Bensinger, Chicago, by at least 1969, owned jointly (2/3 share) with the Art Institute of Chicago (1/3 share) (sale, London, Christie’s, 15 April 1975, lot 31, color ill., as Jardin a Vetheuil, to);
[Wildenstein & Co., New York, sold 1975 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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