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Sainte-Adresse
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Sainte-Adresse
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About the item

Claude Monet (1840-1926)\nSainte-Adresse\nsigned 'Claude Monet' (lower right)\noil on canvas\n19 x 29¼ in. (48.2 x 74.3 cm.)\nPainted in 1873
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notes

Sainte-Adresse is a view of the coast near the town of Le Havre, painted by Claude Monet in 1873. This picture therefore dates from the pivotal year before the First Impressionist exhibition, in which Monet helped to launch the movement by showing pictures including some from the same painting campaign that resulted in Sainte-Adresse. In this painting, Monet shows a view of the beach by Sainte-Adresse, the village lying in the outskirts of Le Havre which had become a fashionable area in its own right, and where he himself spent a great amount of time staying in 'Coteau', the property of his aunt and benefactor Marie-Jeanne Lecadre, née Gaillard. It was Marie-Jeanne who had secured Monet's father a position in the merchant and grocer company run by her husband's family in Le Havre; she also kept a protective eye on Monet himself, often supporting him with payments and even allowances. This picture, then, reveals the artist achieving new results within the landscape with which he himself was most familiar.

In Sainte-Adresse, the view faces towards the North, towards the Cap de la Hèze which lies at the point where the coast buckles inwards at the mouth of the River Seine. Throughout much of his career, the Norman coast and its wider surroundings would provide Monet with plentiful subject matter, as well as a training ground for the Impressionism of which he was to prove such an important pioneer. Year after year during the 1860s, Monet would head to his aunt's house in Sainte-Adresse and carry out painting campaigns in the area, sometimes focussing on the boats, sometimes the harbour and sometimes the coast. Indeed, several of his earliest masterpieces were painted here, not least the celebrated 1867 work Jardin à Sainte-Adresse, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which showed a garden inhabited by fashionable sorts and punctuated by flowers and flags, leading down to the sea. More often, Monet would capture the arc of the coast itself, as is the case in a view of the sea there, dating from the following year, and now in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. In a sense, Sainte-Adresse provides the viewer with an inversion of that earlier work: the coast is shown facing North here, rather than South; the weather is finer in this later composition; however, the bow of the coast and the placement of the boat in the sea appear as reflections the one of the other. Monet clearly appreciated the view along the coast at this point, as he immortalised it in another painting from the same year, which focuses more on the cliff than the shorefront; that picture was sold at Christie's New York in 1990.

In 1873, Monet was enjoying great success and painting with a clear confidence which is palpable in Sainte-Adresse, not least in the vivid blue of the sea and its contrast with the pale shorefront. The deft treatment of the paint surface, which comprises some looser brushstrokes, adding a sense of spontaneity and verisimilitude to the scene, as well as the treatment of light and of the sky, may show the effect of his journeys to Great Britain and to Holland around 1870. Escaping the Franco-Prussian War, Monet saw the works of Turner in London before travelling to Holland to study skies more directly, taking advantage of the low horizons in that country. While he had already met with some small acclaim and recognition as a painter before his departure, he appears, in the early 1870s, to have had a new-found confidence - and new-found success. He sold many pictures in 1872 and 1873, leading to a brief window of comfort. He was also painting masterpiece after masterpiece, both in Argenteuil, where he spent a great deal of the year, and on the Norman coast. Whereas in Argenteuil, he had sought out such daring motifs as the modern railway bridge, in Le Havre and its surroundings, he indulged in more maritime themes. Indeed, it appears to have been during the painting campaign that resulted in Sainte-Adresse that Monet also painted one of the most influential pictures of his entire career, Impression, soleil levant, now in the Musée Marmottan, Paris.

Impression, soleil levant is a smaller picture than Sainte-Adresse, yet it caused a huge impact when it was exhibited the following year in the first exhibition of the Société Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs, etc.. There, Impression, soleil levant, due to the expressionistic manner in which Monet had captured the scene with the rising sun a red orb against the jumble of masts and chimneys, had caught the eye of Louis Leroy, who dubbed the entire show the 'Exposition des Impressoinistes'. It was a supreme victory for the artists associated with that exhibition that within a short space of time they were boldly able to espouse the label which had been attached in derision to their work. This apotheosis would see those artists showing alongside Monet achieve lasting fame during the Nineteenth Century and indeed changing the entire landscape of art.

Looking at Sainte-Adresse, it is clear that this picture too has been painted in the then-revolutionary Impressionist style which so divided opinion in 1874, and indeed for a long time afterward. Although it shows a beach and the sea by daylight, in contrast to the crepuscular port shown in Impression, soleil levant, this picture has similarly been constructed using a variety of often darting brushstrokes in order to convey a sense of shimmering movement, adding that vital dimension of sensation to the scene. The sense of motion is heightened by the various details depicted, from the sails of the boats in the background and the one in the middleground, to the group of people with their small vessel on the coast at the right.

These details all conspire to reveal the incredible mixture of trailblazing advances and daring that characterised Monet's Impressionism and the teachings of his older mentors, Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind, both of whom would also paint the coast at Sainte-Adresse. This was the area in which Monet had cut his teeth and had some of his earliest successes. It was therefore all the more apt that it would be immortalised in his pictures there in 1873, on the cusp of what has since then become one of the most legendary exhibitions of the history of art. Sainte-Adresse showcases the combination of pioneering advances and familiarity upon which much of Monet's fame would be founded in the following years.

title

Sainte-Adresse

medium

Oil on canvas

notice

Please note the correct provenance should read as follows:

M. Bouchaud, Paris.

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, by whom acquired on 3 November 1938.

M. Coppez, France, by whom acquired from the above on 24 November

1938.

Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 1 July 1974, lot 7.

James Kirkman, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.

Rose-Marie Kanzler, Detroit; sale, Sotheby's, London, 4 December 1990, lot 2.

Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 27 November 1995, lot 9.

Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner.

Acquired from the above by the present owner on 14 July 2004.

prelot

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

signed

Signed 'Claude Monet' (lower right)

creator

Claude Monet

keywords

Claude Monet , late 19th Century, Paintings, oil, France, Impressionist, seascape

department

IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART

dimensions

19 x 29¼ in. (48.2 x 74.3 cm.)

literature

D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Lausanne, 1974, no. 265, p. 226 (illustrated).

D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. V, Paris, 1991, no. 265, p. 27.

D. Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 265, pp. 114-115 (illustrated p. 114).

provenance

M. Bouchaud, Paris.

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, by whom acquired on 3 November 1938.

M. Coppez, France, by whom acquired from the above on 24 November 1938.

Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 1 July 1974, lot 7.

James Kirkman, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.

Rose-Marie Kanzler, Detroit; sale, Sotheby's, London, 4 December 1990, lot 2.

Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 27 November 1995, lot 9.

Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner.

Acquired from the above by the present owner on 14 July 2004.

special_notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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