Rue de la Bavole, Honfleur

about 1864
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)


55.9 x 61 cm (22 x 24 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





Dating from the beginning of Monet’s career, this view of a street in the old port of Honfleur is a relatively traditional subject painted with great simplicity and directness. Monet’s palette of pure, contrasting colors is a radical departure from the traditional practice of building up an overall tonality through delicate gradations of color.


Lower left: Claude Monet


1867, possibly Frédéric Bazille (b. 1841 - d. 1870), Paris [see note 1]. Until 1897, possibly Aimé Diot, Paris; March 8-9, 1897, possibly posthumous Diot sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 102 [see note 2]. About 1901, with Arthur Tooth and Sons [see note 3]; November 21, 1902, sold by Tooth to Durand-Ruel, Paris; August 12, 1912, sold by Durand-Ruel to Galerie Thannhauser, Munich [see note 4]; 1915, probably sold by Thannhauser to Oscar Schmitz (b. 1861 - d. 1933), Dresden and Zürich [see note 5]; 1936, sold by the estate of Oscar Schmitz to Wildenstein and Co., Paris and New York [see note 6]; 1940, sold by Wildenstein to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

[1] This painting, or a closely-related variant (Mannheim, Städtische Kunsthalle), is depicted in Bazille's "The Artist's Studio, Rue Visconti, Paris" of 1867 (Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).

[2] See Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, p. 21, cat. no. 33.

[3] The painting was probably with the Paris branch of this London-based gallery. The dates of the Durand-Ruel transactions are taken from Henri Loyrette and Gary Tinterow, "Origins of Impressionism, 1859-1869" (exh cat. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994-1995), p. 425. cat. no. 124.

[4] While with the Galerie Thannhauser, the painting was published by Georg Biermann, "Die Kunst auf dem internationalen Markt. Gemälde aus dem Besitz der modernen Galerie Thannhauser, München," Der Cicerone, no. 21 (May 1913), p. 325 and in the Katalog der Modernen Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser München (Munich, 1916), cat. no. 26; see below, n. 5.

[5] According to "La Collection Oscar Schmitz" (exh. cat., Wildenstein and Co., Paris, 1936), p. 90, cat. no. 40, Schmitz acquired the painting in 1915. Though it was illustrated in the Katalog der Modernen Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser München, published in 1916 (see above, n. 4), it is still quite possible that Schmitz purchased the painting from Thannhauser in 1915, after the gallery catalogue went to press but before its publication in 1916. In 1931, Schmitz left Germany and moved his collection to Switzerland. It was exhibited at the Kunsthaus, Zürich, "Sammlung Oscar Schmitz," January 14-February 14, 1932, cat. no. 45, as "Rue dans une ville de Normandie."

[6] A large portion of the Schmitz collection was for sale as early as 1934. In 1936, Wildenstein acquired it and held the exhibition "La Collection Oscar Schmitz" (as above, n. 5). See Heike Biedermann, "Die Sammlungen Adolf Rothermundt und Oscar Schmitz in Dresden," in "Die Modernen und ihre Sammler: Französische Kunst im deutschem Privatbesitz vom Kaiserreich zur Weimarer Republik," ed. Andrea Pophanken and Felix Billeter (Berlin, 2001), 213-222.

Credit Line

Bequest of John T. Spaulding