Snow at Argenteuil
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
54.6 x 73.7 cm (21 1/2 x 29 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on canvas
Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)
Painted not far from his house in Argenteuil, and likely begun outdoors, this work demonstrates Monet’s interest in the changing effects of light and weather. Primed with a light-gray ground, the canvas can be seen through some of the thinly applied brushstrokes, while quick dabs of pigment and larger sweeps of color define the objects and the people. The path situates the viewer in the scene. The fence and meadow act as a framing device, so that like the pedestrians (and like the artist himself, as he painted) we can feel the cold, damp air and falling snow. Monet’s decision to depict a snowfall in progress, and not simply a winter scene of fallen snow, reflects the influence of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints.
Lower left: Claude Monet
April 29, 1890, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 305) [see note 1]; July 4, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Annette (Anna) Perkins Rogers (b. 1840 - d. 1920), Boston [see note 2]; 1921, bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 7, 1921) NOTES:  According to a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to the MFA (1962).  The letter from Durand-Ruel (see above, n. 1) gives the date of the painting's sale to "Mr. P. Rogers" as June 14, but a dated receipt in the MFA object file confirms that it was sold to Miss [Anna] P. Rogers on July 4, 1890.
Bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers