This is one of two views of the Île aux Fleurs, an island in the Seine near Vétheuil, that Monet painted in the summer of 1880. The other, slightly larger version is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. A variety of formal problems engaged the artist's attention during this period. Here the rapid, flickering brushstrokes create a strong pattern in the foreground that diminishes the illusion of space and emphasizes the abstract character of the painted surface.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Claude Monet
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1891–97; stock no. 1525; bought from the artist August 25, 1891; sold on April 7, 1897 to Durand-Ruel, New York]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1897–1906; stock no. 1816; sold on February 21, 1906 to Emmons]; Arthur B. Emmons, New York and Newport (1906–d. 1922); his widow, Julia W. Emmons, New York and Newport (1922–d. 1956)
Paris. Salons du panorama de Reischoffen. "7me exposition des artistes indépendants [7th Impressionist exhibition]," ?March 1–31, 1882, no. 79 (as "Vétheuil", possibly this picture).
New York. Durand-Ruel. "Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet," February 11–25, 1902, no. 5 (as "L'île aux fleurs").
New York. Wildenstein. "From Paris to the Sea Down the River Seine," January 28–February 27, 1943, no. 47 (as "Island on the Seine," lent by Mrs. Arthur B. Emmons).
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh. "Franse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten," March 15–May 31, 1987, no. 22.
Luigina Rossi Bortolatto. L'opera completa di Claude Monet, 1870–1889. Milan, 1966, p. 101, no. 200, ill.
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, p. 131, ill.
Douglas Cooper. "The Monets in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), pp. 292, 302, 304–5, fig. 11.
Daniel Wildenstein. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 1, 1840–1881: Peintures. Lausanne, 1974, p. 370, no. 598, ill. p. 371, claims that Durand-Ruel bought it from Monet in December 1881; describes the site (under W597).
"Leihgabenaustausch." Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Jahresbericht (1976), p. 13.
Daniel Wildenstein. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 4, 1899–1926: Peintures. Lausanne, 1985, p. 31 n. 274.
Charles F. Stuckey, ed. Monet: A Retrospective. New York, 1985, ill. p. 89.
Joel Isaacson inThe New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886. Ed. Charles S. Moffett. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. San Francisco, 1986, pp. 394–95, suggests that it was no. 79 in the seventh Impressionist exhibition of 1882.
Sjraar van Heutgen et al. inFranse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1987, pp. 70–71, no. 22, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet. Vol. 2, Catalogue raisonné–Werkverzeichnis: Nos. 1–968. 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, p. 230, no. 598, ill. (color).
Ruth Berson, ed. "Documentation: Volume I, Reviews and Volume II, Exhibited Works." The New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886. San Francisco, 1996, vol. 1, p. 377; vol. 2, pp. 206, 222.
Eric M. Zafran inClaude Monet (1840–1926): A Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2007, p. 110, erroneously states that it once belonged to Erwin Davis.
Monet painted this picture of the Île aux Fleurs (one of the islands in the Seine at Vétheuil) in the summer of 1880. A similar version is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington (W597).