Snow at Argenteuil
|Snow at Argenteuil|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||71 cm × 91 cm (28 in × 36 in)|
|Location||National Gallery, London|
Snow at Argenteuil (French: Rue sous la neige, Argenteuil) is an oil-on-canvas landscape painting from the Impressionist artist Claude Monet. It is the largest of no fewer than eighteen works Monet painted of his home commune of Argenteuil while it was under a blanket of snow during the winter of 1874–1875. This painting—number 352 in Wildenstein’s catalogue of the works of Monet—is the largest of the eighteen. The attention to detail evident in the smaller paintings is less evident in this larger picture. Instead, Monet has rendered large areas of the canvas in closely like tones and colours of blue and grey. The application of smaller strokes of greens, yellows, reds and darker blues breaks up these large expanses, and the almost choreographed dispersal of these various colours helps bind the picture together. Paint at the depicted road surface is thicker than elsewhere in the painting, and impasto is suggestive of the feel of disturbed snow.
Most of Monet’s Snow at Argenteuil pictures from the winter of 1874–1875 were painted from locations close to the house on the boulevard Saint-Denis (now number 21 boulevard Karl Marx) into which Monet and his family had just moved. This particular painting shows the boulevard Saint-Denis looking in the direction of the junction with the rue de la Voie-des-Bans, with the river Seine out of sight to the rear, and the local railway station behind Monet’s back as he painted.
In December 1879 the painting was acquired from Monet by Théodore Duret. Recalling a conversation with the artist Édouard Manet, Duret years later reported that, ‘One winter he [Manet] wanted to paint a snow scene. I had in my possession just such a piece from Monet. After seeing it, he said “It is perfect! I would not know how to do better”, whereupon he gave up painting snow.’[A] The picture was acquired from Duret by the art dealers Boussod, Valadon et Cie of Paris in 1892; then by Harris Whittemore of Naugatuck, Connecticut in 1893. Acquavella Galleries of New York acquired the painting in the early 1970s, and then it was purchased by Simon Sainsbury in or around 1973. It was bequeathed by him to the National Gallery, London, in 2006 and it has remained there since.
- ^ Un hiver il voulut peindre un effet de neige; j’en possédais précisément un de Monet qu’il vint voir; il dit, après l’avoir examiné: « Cela est parfait, on ne saurait faire mieux », et il renonça à peindre de la neige.
- The Simon Sainsbury Bequest to Tate and The National Gallery. Edited by Andrew Wilson. Tate Publishing, a division of Tate Enterprises Ltd., Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. 2008. ISBN 978-1-85437-790-6. Page 48, 49.
- The National Gallery Review of the Year. April 2007 – March 2008. Edited by Karen Morden and Rebecca McKie. The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN. 2008. ISBN 978-1-85709-457-2. Page 13.
- Histoire de Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Théodore Duret. Librairie Charpentier et Fasquelle, 11 rue de Grenelle, Paris. 1906. Le Plein Air, Page 160.
- Claude Monet. Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Tome Ⅰ : 1840–1881. Peintures. Daniel Wildenstein. Daniel Wildenstein Institute. La Bibliotheque des Arts, Lausanne – Paris. Genève. 1974. Page 264.
- The Simon Sainsbury Bequest to Tate and The National Gallery. Edited by Andrew Wilson. Tate Publishing, a division of Tate Enterprises Ltd., Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. 2008. ISBN 978-1-85437-790-6. Page 55.