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Ice Floes

Claude Monet (French, Paris 1840–1926 Giverny)

Date:
1893
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
26 x 39 1/2 in. (66 x 100.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.108
  • Gallery Label

    The prolonged freeze and heavy snowfalls in the winter of 1892–93 inspired Monet to capture their effects on the Seine in a series of paintings for which he chose a vantage point not far from his home in Giverny. The river had frozen in mid-January but began to thaw on the 23rd; the following day, in a letter to his dealer, Durand-Ruel, Monet lamented that "the thaw came too soon for me . . . the results—just four or five canvases and they are far from complete." By the end of February, however, he had finished more than a dozen paintings, including this view of the melting ice floes.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Claude Monet 93

  • Provenance

    [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1897; bought from the artist, with I. Montaignac, on February 3, 1897, for Fr 11,400; stock no. 4067; sold on the same day to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1897–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 158–59, ill., as "Landscape—Les Glaçons")

  • Exhibition History

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 87 [as "The Ice Floe (Les Glaçons)"][2nd ed., 1958, no. 174].

    New York. Richard L. Feigen & Co.. "Claude Monet," October 15–November 15, 1969, no. 32 (as "The Ice Floe").

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism," April 19–July 9, 1978, no. 23.

    Saint Louis Art Museum. "Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism," August 1–October 8, 1978, no. 23.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A408.

    Washington. Phillips Collection. "Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige," September 19, 1998–January 3, 1999, no. 27.

    San Francisco. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige," January 30–May 2, 1999, no. 27.

    Brooklyn Museum of Art. "Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige," May 27–August 29, 1999, no. 27.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 91.

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19.Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

    Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. "Wintermärchen. Winter-Darstellungen in der europäischen Kunst von Bruegel bis Beuys," October 18, 2011–January 8, 2012, no. 156.

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Wintermärchen. Winter-Darstellungen in der europäischen Kunst von Bruegel bis Beuys," February 10–April 29, 2012, no. 156.

  • References

    Harry B. Wehle. "The Exhibition of the H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 25 (March 1930), p. 56.

    H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 158–59, ill.

    Stephen Gwynn. Claude Monet and His Garden: The Story of an Artist's Paradise. New York, 1934, p. 168.

    Oscar Reuterswärd. Monet. Stockholm, 1948, p. 282.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX–XX Centuries." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 3, New York, 1967, p. 138, ill.

    Douglas Cooper. "The Monets in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), pp. 295, 304–5, fig. 16, as "The Thaw"; compares it unfavorably with Monet's earlier scenes of ice floes from 1879–81.

    Sabine Cotté. Monet. Paris, 1974, p. 46, fig. 16 (color).

    René Huyghe Lydie Huyghe in La Relève du réel: la peinture française au XIXe siècle: impressionnisme, symbolisme. Paris, 1974, fig. 106, as "La débâcle".

    Marion Grayson. "Monet's Houses of Parliament: Toward nostalgia and a new reality." Pharos 16 (May 1979), pp. 8–9, fig. 4.

    Daniel Wildenstein. "1887–1898: Peintures." Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. 3, Paris, 1979, pp. 49, 160–61, no. 1335, ill., tentatively identifies it with the "Glaçons" mentioned by Monet in several letters of 1896–97 [see pp. 292–93, nos. 1354–55, 1357, 1361, 1364].

    Daniel Wildenstein. "1882–1886: Peintures." Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. 2, Lausanne, 1979, p. 294, pièce justificative no. 95, tentatively identifies the MMA work with "Glaçons à Vétheuil" mentioned in this letter [see Ref. Wildenstein, III, 1979, p. 160].

    Jacqueline Guillaud and Maurice Guillaud. Claude Monet au temps de Giverny. Exh. cat., Centre Culturel du Marais. Paris, 1983, p. 309, fig. 51 (color).

    René Huyghe. "Monet précurseur." Aspects of Monet. New York, 1984, p. 250, fig. 96.

    Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 142–43, 252, ill. (color).

    John House. Monet: Nature into Art. New Haven, 1986, pp. 27, 57, 65, 69, 100, 128, 173–74, colorpl. 213.

    Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, p. 257.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 221.

    Gary Tinterow in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 33.

    Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 365–66, no. A408, ill.

    Steven Z. Levine. Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self. Chicago, 1994, pp. 170–71, fig. 86, discusses the provenance of this work and Monet's paintings of ice floes as the pursuit of "an inexpressible absolute".

    Daniel Wildenstein. Monet or the Triumph of Impressionism. 1, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, p. 288.

    Daniel Wildenstein. "Catalogue raisonné–Werkverzeichnis: Nos. 969–1595." Monet. 3, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, pp. 542–43, no. 1335, ill. (color).

    Caroline Durand-Ruel. "Quand les Havemeyers aimaient la peinture française." Connaissance des arts no. 544 (November 1997), p. 108, mistakenly assigns it to the 1880 "Débâcle" series.

    Katherine Rothkopf in Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige. Exh. cat., Phillips Collection. Washington, 1998, pp. 54, 126–27, 211–12, no. 27, ill. (color), remarks that this painting is one of Monet's numerous "effet de neige" pictures that are purely landscape, in contrast to the human elements included in Pissarro's snowscapes; states that this is one of thirteen views of ice floes by Monet and notes similarities between these works and his later views of Mount Kolsaas, Norway, from 1895; discusses the climatic conditions during two weeks in January 1893, when ice floes, caused by freezing and thawing on the Seine, prompted Monet to work outdoors in "rather frigid conditions"; remarks that all thirteen were painted on the Bennecourt bank of the river, across from Giverny, and that the MMA canvas is one of nine examples that face towards the hills on the left bank; compares it with two other similar compositions from the same series: "Floating Ice at Bennecourt" (Waterhouse Collection) and "Morning Haze" (Philadelphia Museum of Art), all of which include the islet of Forée at the center.

    Karin Sagner-Düchting in Monet and Modernism. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung. Munich, 2001, pp. 40–41, ill. p. 45 (color).

    Kathryn Calley Galitz in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 143, 284, no. 132, ill. (color and black and white).

    Kathryn Calley Galitz in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 127, 241, no. 91, ill. (color and black and white).

    Eric M. Zafran in Claude Monet (1840–1926): A Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2007, p. 84.



  • Notes

    Another version of this work was sold at Christie's, New York, on November 3, 1981, no. 22, as "Glaçons à Bennecourt."

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