Rouen Cathedral Façade and Tour d'Albane (Morning Effect)

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)


106.1 x 73.9 cm (41 3/4 x 29 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





Monet’s series paintings of the 1890s—multiple variations of a single motif conceived, executed, and exhibited as a group—are among his most inventive and remarkable works. In the winter of 1892 the artist spent several months studying and painting the façade of Rouen Cathedral in his native Normandy. From rooms facing the cathedral across a square, Monet concentrated on the analysis of light and its effects on the forms of the façade, changing from one canvas to another as the day progressed. Later he extensively reworked the thirty paintings of the cathedral series in his studio at Giverny. Their encrusted surfaces of dry, thickly layered paint evoke the rough texture of weathered stone, absorbing and reflecting light like the walls of the cathedral itself.


Lower left: Claude Monet 1894


February 1899, possibly sold by the artist to Isidore Montaignac (b. 1851 - d. 1924), Paris [see note 1]; possibly from Montaignac to the American Art Association, New York [see note 2]; April 10, 1900, American Art Association sale, Chickering Hall, New York, lot 62, to Cottier et Cie. for $3100, for Edward Fullerton Milliken (b. 1863 - d. 1906), New York; February 14, 1902, Milliken sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 16, to M. Knoedler and Co., New York for $4000, for Berthe Honoré (Mrs. Palmer) Potter (b. 1849 - d. 1918), Chicago; by descent to her son, Honoré Palmer (b. 1874), Chicago; 1923, sold by Honoré Palmer to Howard Young Galleries, New York (stock no. 2202) [see note 3]; 1924, sold by Howard Young Galleries to the MFA for $11,000. (Accession Date: January 3, 1924)

[1] According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné (1996), vol. 3, p. 560, cat. no. 1347.

[2] Montaignac was a dealer and the Paris correspondent of James Sutton, who co-founded the American Art Association.

[3] According to two letters from the Howard Young Galleries to the MFA (January 18, 1924 and January 24, 1940).

Credit Line

Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund