Seacoast at Trouville

1881
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)


Dimensions

60.7 x 81.3 cm (23 7/8 x 32 in.)

Accession Number

19.1314

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

A single tree, deformed by the constant buffeting of onshore winds, is the central motif of this painting by Monet. Because the horizon line is effaced in a haze of creamy blue strokes, there is no sense of recession into the distance. Such an abstract field behind the tree deprives it of volume, so that it reads as a flat pattern on the surface. This pattern is so dominant that its outline determines the shapes of other forms in the painting. Not only do the low blue bushes that extend from one edge of the canvas to the other echo the general form of the tree’s foliage, but the very ground answers the bending motion in low hillocks parallel or related to the tree’s angle. Although the tree’s form is dominant and determines so many other shapes in the painting, the tree in itself is almost ephemeral, for it is barely rooted in the soil. The painting is thus an exercise in pattern making rather than a naturalistic description of a place.

Inscription

Lower right: 81. Claude Monet

Provenance

By June 1882, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris, France; August 1883, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. By 1888, Leroux, Paris; February 27-28, 1888, sold at Leroux sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 61, sold to Durand-Ruel, Paris; 1888, probably sold by Durand-Ruel to Mrs. Catholina Lambert, Paterson, NJ; February 28, 1899, sold by Lambert to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock number 2122); April 13, 1907, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to John Pickering Lyman (d. 1914), Portsmouth, N.H.; by inheritance to Miss Theodora Lyman (d. 1919); 1919, gift of Theodora Lyman to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 18, 1919)

Credit Line

The John Pickering Lyman Collection—Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman