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Claude Monet

A Cliff at Pourville in the Morning


Claude Monet
Paris 1840 – Giverny 1926


A Cliff at Pourville in the Morning




Oil on canvas


65.8 x 100.5 cm


Purchase, John W. Tempest Fund, inv. 1918.126


Western Art

From his house in Giverny, Monet held the role of Impressionism’s patriarch, and was showered with praise despite the resistance of a few cantankerous voices at the Institut. During the winter of 1897, he resided on the Normandy coast. During previous sojourns in the early 1880s, he had painted varied motifs; this time, he produced series. After haystacks, poplars and cathedrals, he turned his attention to cliffs. He worked on several canvases at once, one for each time of day. He painted directly from nature, sheltered from the wind and exhilarated to again be witnessing the movement of the sea. Critic Gustave Geffroy, Monet’s biographer, wrote, “Vast skies rise from the water and breathe in the ocean mass: it is an exchange, a commingling, that results in an admirable unity.” He concludes his description of this new “air painting” of Monet: “No one had yet perceived this distant painting, as if ‘within,’ that expresses the mists wandering on the cliffs of Dieppe, the cool and peaceful quiet of solitude.”

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