Grainstack (Sunset)

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)


73.3 x 92.7 cm (28 7/8 x 36 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)





In 1890 and 1891, Monet painted a group of pictures of the stacks of wheat (referred to as grainstacks or haystacks) in the fields near his home, exhibiting them as a series to great critical acclaim in 1891. Traditionally, the motifs in Monet’s series paintings have been seen merely as vehicles through which he could explore the interaction of light, color, and form over the course of the day and in different weather conditions. But scholars have recently proposed that Monet was equally interested in the meaning and significance of the motifs themselves. Grainstacks, for example, are traditional symbols of the land’s fertility, the local farmers’ material wealth, and the region’s prosperity.


Lower left: Claude Monet 91


September 1891, possibly sold by the artist to Hamman for M. Knoedler and Co., New York [see note 1]. By 1905, James F. Sutton (b. 1849 - d. 1915), New York [see note 2]; 1915, by inheritance to his widow, Florence May Sutton (b. about 1853), New York; January 17, 1917, Sutton sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 156, to Durand-Ruel, New York and Paris; 1917, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to Robert J. Edwards (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 3]. (Accession Date: April 2, 1925)

[1] Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné (1996), vol. 3, p. 502, cat. no. 1289.

[2] Lent to the "Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet," Copley Society of Boston, March, 1905, cat. no. 66.

[3] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

Credit Line

Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection