ProvenanceFrançois Fayette, Argenteuil, acquired from the artist in January 1877
Mme Edouard Landrin, Paris, by descent from the above, by circa 1931; estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 25-26 November 1936, lot 22
Private Collection, acquired at the above sale by another member of the Landrin family
Galerie Nathan, Zurich (no. C-1912)
Private Collection, Switzerland, acquired from the above circa 1977, and thence by descent
Private Collection, acquired from the above by the present owner
ExhibitionParis, Musée de l'Orangerie, Claude M...More...onet, Exposition rétrospective, 1931, no. 23 (with incorrect dimensions)
London, Royal Academy of Arts, From Manet to Gauguin, Masterpieces from Swiss Private Collections, June - October 1995, no. 30, p. 84 (illustrated; with incorrect dimensions).
Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Monet au Musée Marmottan et dans les collections suisses, June - November 2011, no. 5, p. 39 (illustrated; with incorrect dimensions).
Forth Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Monet, The Early Years, October 2016 – January 2017, no. 49, pp. 174 and 205 (illustrated p. 175; with incorrect dimensions); this exhibition later travelled to San Francisco, Legion of Honor, February – May 2017.
Denver, Art Museum, Claude Monet, The Truth of Nature, October 2019 – February 2020, no. 42, p. 266 (with incorrect dimensions); this exhibition later travelled to Potsdam, Museum Barberini, Monet, Places, February – June 2020
LiteratureD. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Paris, 1974, no. 239, p. 216 (illustrated p. 217; with incorrect dimensions)
P.H. Tucker, Monet at Argenteuil, New Haven, 1982, no. 9, pp. 24, 27, 32 & 42 (illustrated p. 28; with incorrect dimensions)
D. Wildenstein, Claude Monet, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1996, no. 239, p. 105 (illustrated; with incorrect dimensions)
Argenteuil was not exclusively Monet’s domain during the 1870s, but the six years he spent there and the superb paintings that came of that time and place are at the nexus of the Impressionist movement. In a collective sense, it not only proved to be that movement’s formative years and the most exciting period of its existence — painters working predominately outdoors and often side-by-side, using pure, unmixed colors with unblended, visually stimulating brushstrokes, but it is upon Monet’s lead when he settled here in December 1871 that this small hamlet and recreational center became a vibrant hub for the emerging movement that included scenes of the area by Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Édouard Manet, and Gustave Caillebotte. John Rewald rightfully observed that “probably no single place could be identified more closely with Impressionism than Argenteuil,” (J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1973, p. 341). But it is important to acknowledge it was Monet’s robust strength of his character and talent that had everything to do with the sudden emergence of Impressionism at this time and this place of beauty.
Alfred Sisley and his significant other, Marie Lescouezec, were often guests of Claude Monet and his wife, Camille during the spring of 1872. When Monet built a studio boat the following year, it was to Sisley he extended the privilege of its use. The best evidence of their comradery is that they painted together on at least two occasions at the same location and from the same vantage point simultaneously — one, along Boulevard Héloïse, Argenteuil’s main thoroughfare, and the other, looking north from the plaza-like aspect of rue de la Chaussée where rue des Saints-Péres intersects at the lower left foreground, and further on, where rue Notre Dame intersects and fronts the façade of the one structure squared-up to the viewer.
Monet’s rue de la Chaussée is a softly modulated interpretation of this quaint and historic street; a luminous, late afternoon study of light and shadows as they play against the folding and unfolding planar aspects of facades and roofs of the buildings lining the street. ‘Chaussée’ means ‘footpath’ in French, and with its quirky course, unpaved compacted earthen surface, and the sundry scattered townsfolk Monet added, it reads as an unchanging tableau frozen by times past and untouched by the relentless advance of modernity. But Monet also chose this site carefully and stood directly in the middle of rue de la Chaussée (just as he would when he painted the view down Le Boulevard Héloïse). He intended it to be picturesque and as alluring as possible and it succeeds beautifully. The composition is built upon an open, virtually unbounded base foreground, the lines of which are of a severe convergent triangulation aided by well-orchestrated effects of light and shadow that inexorably carry the eye to the narrow confines of rue de la Chaussée near the center of the picture plane. Yet it is the light-hued warm tints ranging from soft pinks to mauves that lift the shifting planar elements of the architecture to a setting of extreme beauty, aided by the formal accents of phthalo blues and greens evident in the clothing and window shutters — a splendid painting that foretells of so much to come.
Claude Monet, 1871
Alfred Sisley, “Rue de la Chaussée a Argenteuil” 1872 (Musée d’Orsay)
Argenteuil — Le Rue de la Chaussée circa 1900
rue du 8 mai (formerly rue du la Chaussée) at the intersection of rue Notre Dame (Looking north to Basilique de la Sainte Tunique du Christ)
Claude Monet, “Le Boulevard Héloïse à Argenteuil” 1872 (The Yale University Art Gallery)
Alfred Sisley, “Le Boulevard Héloïse, Argenteuil” 1872 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C)
Alfred Sisley's "Rue de la Chaussée à Argenteuil" (left) and Claude Monet's "L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil" (right)
- Both painted in 1872, Monet’s L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil and Sisley’s Rue de la Chaussée à Argenteuil were painted the same year as Monet’s Impression, Sunrise, the painting that gave Impressionism its name.
- Sisley often visited Monet during the spring of 1872, and their close friendship is illustrated by the paintings they created side-by-side during these trips.
- The compositional differences between Monet’s and Sisley’s paintings of the rue de la Chaussée in Argenteuil capture variances in each artist’s Impressionistic style.
- The art historian Paul Tucker describes this painting’s depiction of Argenteuil as a “retreat into the past.”
- When discussing the importance of Argenteuil, the art historian John Rewald wrote that “probably no single place could be identified more closely with Impressionism than Argenteuil.”
- Since 1976, Monet paintings have increased at a 9.6% annual rate of return.
- Of the approximately 1,900 paintings by Monet in existence, there are currently about 800 paintings owned privately worldwide that could ever come up for sale. Over time, many of the 800 works held privately will inevitably make their way into museum collections, further limiting supply.
- Due to the diminishing supply of quality paintings by the artist, our thesis is that works by Monet priced under $5M are likely to increase in value the most and the quickest, and within the span of a few years, that investment range may increase to paintings under $8-10M.
- Many of our wealthiest international clients seek blue-chip artworks, particularly Monet paintings, as investments because they are tangible, portable assets.
- Monet’s Argenteuil paintings, such as “L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil” (1872), are some of the artist’s most recognizable and important works due to their role in the developing Impressionist movement. Major museum collections worldwide include paintings from this transformative period in the artist’s oeuvre.
Top Results at Auction
"Meules" (1891) sold for $110,747,000.
"Nymphéas en fleur" (c. 1914-1917) sold for $84,687,500.
"Meule" (1891) sold for $81,447,500.
"Le bassin aux nymphéas" (1919) sold for $80,379,592.
Comparable Paintings Sold at Auction
“Le pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil” (1873) sold for $41,481,000.
- The highest price paid for a Monet painting from this period
- A scene from the same city, Argenteuil
- Includes a beautiful sky and reflections in the water that show Monet’s mastery of capturing the effects of light
“Extérieur de la gare Saint-Lazare, effet de soleil” (1877) sold for $32,937,500.
- Depicts the famous Paris train terminal, a favorite subject of the Impressionists
- One of the top results at auction for an 1870s painting
- The treatment of the figures in this scene are comparable to those in our painting
“La plage à Trouville” (1870) sold for $15,091,000.
- A coastal scene painted two years prior to “L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil”
- This scene includes multiple desirable elements, such as buildings at the coast, figures, and a breathtaking impressionistic sky
“Voilier sur le petit bras de la Seine, Argenteuil” (1872) sold for $9,265,500.
- Another Argenteuil scene painted the same year with a soft color palette and atmospheric effect comparable to our painting
- Sold for over $9.2 million nearly ten years ago, and the Monet market has increased considerably since then
Monet’s Paintings of Argenteuil in Museum Collections
In addition to being listed in the Wildenstein Plattner Institute’s catalogue raisonné of Monet’s paintings, the authoritative writings on Monet’s career, L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil is discussed in other important scholarly texts.