Monet’s son Michel identified the sitter for this small, informal portrait as the artist’s physician, Dr. Leclenché. Made in 1864, when Monet was still developing his skills as a figure painter, the likeness is nonetheless full of expressive details, from the doctor’s jauntily crossed legs to the cigar he holds nonchalantly in his left hand. His slightly exaggerated gestures may owe a debt to Monet’s youthful stint as a caricaturist.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Claude Monet / 64
Martignon (until 1924; sold April 14, 1924 to Bernheim-Jeune); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1924; stock no. 23.894, negative no. 5199; sold October 23, 1924 to Perls]; [Perls, Berlin, from 1924]; [Vollard , Paris]; [Pinakos, Inc. (Rudolf J. Heinemann), New York, until 1943; sold half to Knoedler]; [Pinakos, Inc. (Rudolf J. Heinemann), New York and Knoedler, New York, 1943–May 1947; sold to Vogel]; Mr. and Mrs. Edwin C. Vogel (1947–51; consigned to Knoedler, 1950–June 1951; returned to Vogel)
New York. Wildenstein. "A Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet for the Benefit of the Children of Giverny," April 11–May 12, 1945, no. 1 (as "Portrait d'Homme," lent by M. Knoedler and Co., Inc.).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures, French Impressionists: Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Boudin. Vol. 27, Album 51, New York, 1951, unpaginated, ill. (color).
Margaretta M. Salinger. Claude Monet: 1840–1926. New York, 1957, unpaginated, colorpl. 13 [see Ref. Sterling and Salinger 1967].
Charles Merrill Mount. "A Monet Portrait of Jongkind." Art Quarterly 21 (1958), pp. 386–87, 390 n. 11, fig. 3, identifies the sitter as Dr. Lanclanché; compares it with a Monet portrait of Jongkind painted in the same year; claims that in spite of a lack of technical skills, Monet has succeeded in conveying "an acute sense of personality".
William C. Seitz. Claude Monet. New York, , ill. p. 11.
Charles Merrill Mount. Monet, a biography. New York, 1966, p. 78.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 123–24, ill.
Joel Isaacson. "The Early Paintings of Claude Monet." PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1967, pp. ix, 80–82, 140, 296 n. 45, pl. 24, notes its similarities to Manet's dancer paintings; suggests it indicated a new period in Monet's work in which he made use of clear contrasts between blocks of color rather than atmospheric effects.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill., states that according to Monet's son, this is a portrait of the artist's doctor.
Douglas Cooper. "The Monets in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), pp. 281–82, 305, fig. 1.
Kermit Swiler Champa. Studies in Early Impressionism. New Haven, 1973, pp. 3–4, fig. 2, as "Dr. Leclenche"; compares it with a portrait of the etcher Jules Jacquemart (Kunsthaus, Zürich), claiming that both works "were probably done on commission while Monet was working at the famous artists' and writers' resort, the Ferme St.-Siméon, on the Norman coast near Honfleur".
Daniel Wildenstein. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 1, 1840–1881: Peintures. Lausanne, 1974, pp. 136–37, no. 43, ill.
Charles F. Stuckey, ed. Monet: A Retrospective. New York, 1985, ill. p. 31.
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet. Vol. 2, Catalogue raisonné–Werkverzeichnis: Nos. 1–968. 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, p. 25, no. 43, ill. (color).
Richard R. Brettell. Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860–1890. Exh. cat., National Gallery, London. New Haven, 2000, p. 107, fig. 61 (color), suggests that Monet painted it from life, likely in the Paris studio where he worked in autumn 1864.
John House. "London, Amsterdam and Williamstown: Impression." Burlington Magazine 143 (February 2001), p. 106, suggests that Monet signed and dated it many years after it was completed.
Dorothee Hansen inMonet und "Camille": Frauenportraits im Impressionismus. Ed. Dorothee Hansen and Wulf Herzogenrath. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bremen. Munich, 2005, p. 66, 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. 133.
Sylvie Patry inClaude Monet: 1840–1926. Exh. cat., Galeries nationales, Grand Palais. Paris, 2010, pp. 235, 241 n. 9, fig. 2 (color).
The artist's son, Michel Monet, identified the subject of this portrait as his father's physician, whose name has been variously spelled Leclanché, Leclenché, and Lanclanché.