The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest

Artist: Claude Monet (French, Paris 1840–1926 Giverny)

Date: 1865

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 37 7/8 x 50 7/8 in. (96.2 x 129.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Sam Salz and Bequest of Julia W. Emmons, by exchange, 1964

Accession Number: 64.210


The Bodmer Oak was named after the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), who exhibited his painting of the tree at the 1850 Salon. The carpet of russet leaves signals that Monet painted this view of the Fontainebleau forest just before he left nearby Chailly-en-Bière in October 1865. It is probably the last of several landscapes executed in connection with his monumental Luncheon on the Grass (Musée d'Orsay, Paris). The slash in the upper right-hand corner of the painting may have been made by Monet, who reputedly mutilated some canvases in order to discourage a landlord from seizing them in 1866.