Thursday, May 10, 2007


Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting. He is regarded as the archetypal Impressionist in that his devotion to the ideals of the movement was unwavering throughout his long career.

After having experienced extreme poverty, Monet began to prosper. By 1890 he was successful enough to buy the house at Giverny he had previously rented and in 1892 he married his mistress, with whom he had begun an affair in 1876, three years before the death of his first wife. From 1890 he concentrated on series of pictures in which he painted the same subject at different times of the day in different lights like notably the Cathedral of Rouen.

This picture was made in 1872, it is an oil on canvas measuring 21 3/4 x 29 ins. It was sold in Paris in 1912 for the equivalent of £ 1,070, then it was acquired in 1970 by Mr Ronald Lyon, a rag-to-riches property tycoon for $ 605,000. In May 2005, it was bought again for $ 4,83 million.

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