Irises, among Monet's favorite flowers, lined the pathways leading up to the house and Japanese bridge on the artist's property at Giverny. This bird's-eye view of a garden path belongs to a series of monumental works painted during the First World War that capture the vital essence of these flowers with intensity and breadth of vision. Late in life, as his eyesight faltered, he dispensed with subtlety and "took in the motif in large masses," waiting "until the idea took shape, until the arrangement and composition inscribed themselves on the brain."
the artist's son, Michel Monet, Sorel-Moussel (until the late 1950s; sold to Granoff); [Katia Granoff, Paris, late 1950s–1972; sold to Wildenstein]; [Wildenstein, Paris, 1972–74, sold on May 17 to Annenberg]; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1974–2001; jointly with MMA, 2001–his d. 2002)
Paris. Galerie Katia Granoff. "Claude Monet: Les Nymphéas," June 1965, no catalogue.
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Masterpieces in Bloom," April 5–May 5, 1973, not in catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism," April 19–July 9, 1978, no. 64 (as "The Path through the Irises").
Saint Louis Art Museum. "Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism," August 1–October 8, 1978, no. 64.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat. (as "The Path through the Irises").
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Katia Granoff. Claude Monet: quinze nymphéas inédits. Paris, 1958, colorpl. XI.
Robert Maillard in Denis Rouart and Jean-Dominique Rey. Monet, Water-Lilies: Or the Mirror of Time. New York, 1974, unpaginated, ill. [French ed., 1972], calls it "Violet Irises (Road of Fire)" and dates it about 1923.
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet. Paris, 1981, p. 55, ill. pp. 46, 55 (color detail), dates it about 1915–20.
Robert Gordon and Andrew Forge. Monet. New York, 1983, p. 294, ill. p. 278 (color), date it 1916–17.
Daniel Wildenstein. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 4, 1899–1926: Peintures. Lausanne, 1985, p. 83 n. 757, p. 266, no. 1828, ill. pp. 91, 267 (color and black and white), dates it 1914–17.
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. ix, 58–59, 167–68, ill. (color and black and white), dates it 1914–17.
Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux arts no. 92 (July–August 1991), p. 69, ill. p. 72 (color, installation photograph).
Steven Z. Levine. Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self. Chicago, 1994, p. 285.
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet. Vol. 4, Catalogue raisonné–Werkverzeichnis: Nos. 1596–1983 et les grandes décorations. 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, pp. 866–67, no. 1828, ill. (color).
Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), p. 149.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000–2001." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 59 (Fall 2001), p. 57, ill. (color).
Eric M. Zafran inClaude Monet (1840–1926): A Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2007, p. 130.
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 84–88, no. 17, ill. (color).
Clare A. P. Willsdon inPainting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. London, 2015, p. 42, notes that Monet's close-up images of irises growing along the paths and banks of his water garden relate to William Robinson's then-popular ideals for a wild garden (first published in Robinson's "The Wild Garden"  in England the same year Monet visited).