About This Artwork

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

Stacks of Wheat (End of Day, Autumn), 1890/91

Oil on canvas
65.8 x 101 cm (27 7/8 x 39 3/4 in.)
Inscribed lower left: Claude Monet 91

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, 1933.444

Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1979 no. 1270, p. 138

This work is featured in the online catalogue Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, the first volume in the Art Institute’s scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. The catalogue offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on 47 artworks by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.

The monumental stacks that Claude Monet depicted in his series Stacks of Wheat rose fifteen to twenty feet and stood just outside the artist’s farmhouse at Giverny. Through 1890 and 1891, he worked on this series both in the field, painting simultaneously at several easels, and in the studio, refining pictorial harmonies. In May 1891, Monet hung fifteen of these canvases next to each other in one small room in the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris. An unprecedented critical and financial success, the exhibition marked a breakthrough in Monet’s career, as well as in the history of French art. In this view, and in nearly all of the autumn views in the series, the conical tops of the stacks break the horizon and push into the sky. But in most of the winter views, which constitute the core of the series, the stacks seem wrapped by bands of hill and field, as if bedded down for the season. For Monet, the stack was a resonant symbol of sustenance and survival. He followed this group with further series depicting poplars, the facade of Rouen Cathedral, and, later, his own garden at Giverny. The Art Institute has the largest group of Monet’s Stacks of Wheat in the world.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2009, p. 227.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition of Mrs. L. L. Coburn Collection: Modern Paintings and Watercolors, 1932, cat. 24.

Toledo, Ohio, Museum of Art, Artists Unappreciated in Their Day, November–December, 1939, cat. 16 (ill.)

Seattle, Art Museum, Monet and Pissarro, December, 1944–January, 1945, no cat.

Englewood, Ill., High School Exhibition, February–March, 1945, no cat.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Works of Claude Monet, March 9–May 15, 1960, cat. 48 (ill.), traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 14-August 7, 1960.

Iowa City, University of Iowa, Impressionism and Its Source, November 1964, cat. 35 (ill.).

Seattle, University of Washington, November 17–December 22, 1968.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Painting by Monet, March 15–May 11, 1975, cat. 85 (ill.).

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, April 19–July 9, 1978, cat. 15 (ill.); traveled to St. Louis, Art Museum, July–September 15, 1978.

Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, June 28–September 16, 1984, cat. 105 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, October 18, 1984–January 6, 1985 and Paris, Galeries nationals d’exposition du grand palais, February 8–April 22, 1985.

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Art of the Edge: European Frames 1300–1900, October 17–December 14, 1986, no cat.

Leningrad, Hermitage and Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, From Delacroix to Matisse: Great French Paintings From the XIX century to the Beginning of the XXth century From Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, 1988, cat. 31, ill.

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Monet in the ‘90’s: The Series Paintings, February 7-April 29, 1990, cat 18 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, May 19-July 21, 1990 and London, Royal Academy of Arts, September 7-December 9, 1990.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Claude Monet 1840-1926, July 22-November 26, 1995, cat. 98 (ill.).

Baltimore Museum of Art, In Monet's Light: Theodore Robinson at Giverny, October 17, 2004–January 9, 2005, under cat. 47, fig. 1, traveled to Phoenix Art Museum, February 6–May 9, 2005 and Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum, June 4–September 4, 2005.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 76 (ill.).

Publication History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 321.

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism (New York, 1973), 4th ed., p. 563 (ill.).

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné Paris vol. 3 (Paris, 1974), p. 138, no. 1270 (ill.).

Diane Kelder, Great Book of Impressionism (New York, 1980), p. 213 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, “Monet’s Haystacks Reconsidered,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 2, 1 (Fall, 1984), p. 6, pl. 4, note 20.

John House, Claude Monet: Painter of Light, exh. cat. (Auckland, 1985), p. 19, fig. 10.

John House, Monet: Nature into Art (New Haven and London, 1986), p. 27, fig. 33.

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet vol. 3 (Cologne, 1996), no. 1270 (ill.).

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 76, pp. 156-59 (ill.).

Ownership History

Possibly bought from the artist by Durand-Ruel in July 1891 [this and the following information according to Wildenstein 1979]. Possibly Sir William van Horne, 1892. Potter Palmer, Chicago. Howard Young, New York. Mrs. Lewis (Annie Swan) Coburn (died 1932), Chicago by 1932; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.

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