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Item 502 - Claude Monet Catalog 576 (Feb 2020)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $4,520.00 (includes buyer's premium)


ALS in French, two pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7.25, January 10, 1884. Written from "Giverny pat Vernon," a letter to his landlord Alexandre Flament about his monumental painting 'Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe [Luncheon on the Grass].' In full (translated): "I have meant to write to you for a long time about what belongs to me that is still with you and especially about my large painting that probably is very troublesome to you because of its size. Can you please be so kind as to give me news about the painting because I am now better paid here and I believe it would be possible for me to relieve you from keeping the painting. Having to organize myself in the near future, I would be very grateful if you could answer me as soon as possible and also inform me of what I would still owe you." In fine condition.

Monet began to paint 'Luncheon on the Grass' on a massive four meter by six meter canvas in 1865 as a response to Manet's work by the same name, which had sparked controversy at the 1863 Salon des Refusés. The two extant fragments of the work are now held by the Musee d'Orsay; according to the museum, Monet abandoned the project in 1866, and in 1920 recalled: 'I had to pay my rent, I gave it to the landlord as security and he rolled it up and put in the cellar. When I finally had enough money to get it back, as you can see, it had gone moldy.' Monet indeed got the painting back in 1884, cut it up, and kept only three fragments—the third is now lost to history. With the discussion about the eventual return of one of his most famous paintings, this is an exemplary letter by the revered Impressionist.

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