Claude Monet, ‘Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps’, 1886,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Claude Monet, ‘Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps’, 1886,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Claude Monet, ‘Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps’, 1886,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Claude Monet, ‘Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps’, 1886,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Claude Monet, ‘Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps’, 1886,  M.S. Rau Antiques

This breathtaking view of the Normandy coast represents an extraordinary moment in the career of the great Impressionist master Claude Monet. During the period in which it was painted, Monet was captivated by the towering cliffs at Étretat, a small fishing commune just northeast of Le Havre. He captured with an unsurpassed mastery the effects of light and atmosphere on this visually stunning landscape. The present work, with its bright tones and swift brushwork, is among the most vivid from the important series. Other examples can be found in the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne) and the Art Institute of Chicago.

A native of the Normandy coast, Monet’s scenes of the Atlantic such as this span a period of nearly four decades, and offer a compelling narrative of the course of his artistic development. This work, Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps, is among the first in which he would completely give over his canvas to the landscape. Like his fellow Impressionists, his earlier work was preoccupied with the sites and subjects of the urban Parisian landscape. By the 1880s, however, he returned to Normandy, and by and large that pervasive human element disappeared from his canvasses. Instead, unadulterated views of the awe-inspiring coastline dominated his output, as he sought to capture the ever-evolving landscape in paint.

One of the most admired and recognized artists of all time, Monet was a dedicated student of nature and he remained a naturalist his entire life. He held a profound fascination with perspective and the play of movement and natural light, using these elements to compose landscapes of peerless splendor. His genius in recreating natural phenomena on canvas is most evident in his important paintings of water lilies, to which Au Val Saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, Matin was a significant precursor with its vibrant palette.

Born in Paris in 1840, Claude Monet was a leading figure in the Impressionist movement. Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot were counted among his colleagues, and his works stood beside theirs at the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874. Today, Monet’s works are represented in the finest museums around the globe, including the National Gallery (London), the Musée D’Orsay (Paris), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Louvre (Paris), The Hermitage (St. Petersburg), and many others.

This painting is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Wildenstein Institute signed by Guy Wildenstein and dated 10 December 2008.

Dated 1886

Canvas: 25” high x 31 1/2” wide
Frame: 37 1/2" high x 44 3/4" wide

Signature: Signed and dated “Claude Monet 86” (lower right)

This important work is featured in:
Vente Leclanché, La Curiosite, BVA, August 15, October 15 & November 15, 1924
Monet: Vie et Oeuvre, vol. II, D. Wildenstein, 1979, no. 1048, pp. 182-183
Monet: Catalogue Raisonné, vol. III, D. Wildenstein, 1996, no. 1048, pp. 396-397

Purchased from Monet by Boussod, Valadon & Cie, in May 1887
Acquired from the above by Mr. Leclanché, 1887
Paris, Hotel Drouot, Sale Maurice Leclanché, Tableaux Modernes composant la Collection de feu M. Leclanché, sale no. 61, November 6, 1924, lot no. 61
Bought by Mr. Lindon
Private collection, France
Private collection, Switzerland
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2010
Private collection, Missouri, 2010
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2017

About Claude Monet

A founding member of the Impressionist movement in the late 1800s, Claude Monet was interested in direct observation and perceptual study, particularly depicting the effects of light and shadow on color. A proponent of en plein air painting, Monet is most famous for his series depicting haystacks (1891), poplars (1892), the Rouen Cathedral (1894), and water lilies (1910-20). In each series, Monet painted the same site repeatedly, recording how the appearance changed as the light shifted. His final mural-sized paintings depicting the pond on his Giverny estate feature water lilies and water emerging from almost-abstract compositions of broad strokes of bright color and intricately built-up textures. Shortly after Monet died at age 86, the French government installed his last water-lilies series in specially constructed galleries at the Orangerie in Paris, where they remain today.

French, 1840-1926, Paris, France, based in Giverny, France