About This Artwork

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

Boats on the Beach at Étretat, 1885

Oil on canvas
66 x 82.3 cm (26 x 32 7/16 in.)
Inscribed lower right: Claude Monet

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, 1947.95

Wildenstein, Claude Monet, cat rais. 1996 1024; Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1979 1024



By the mid-1880s, Claude Monet had distanced himself from the modern city, seeking landscape subjects in various parts of France instead. The Norman town of Étretat was famous for its cliffs, rock formations, and fashionable summer homes, but Boats on the Beach at Étretat shows none of these familiar sights. Forced indoors by inclement weather, Monet painted this narrow view of the beach from his room in the Hôtel Blanquet, where he stayed from mid-October to mid-December 1885. In a letter to his future wife, he noted that he had spent the afternoon “painting the caloges [disused fishing boats covered with tarred planks and used for storage] in the rain.”

— Permanent collection label

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by Claude Monet in the museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Budapest, Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Nemes Marcell képgyűjteményének kiállítása [Exhibition of paintings in the collection of Marcell von Nemes], 1910, no cat. no.

Munich, Königliche Ältere Pinakothek München, Sammlung des Königliche Rates Marczell von Nemes, Budapest, ausgestellten Gemälde, June–Dec. 1911, cat. 34 (ill.), as Strandbild.


Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Sammlung des Königliche Rates Marczell von Nemes, July–Dec. 1912, cat. 104.

Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition of the Worcester Collection, July 24–Sept. 23, 1923, no cat.

Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, Paintings by French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, Nov. 7–Dec. 12, 1937, cat. 14 (ill.).

Arts Club of Chicago, Loan Exhibition of Modern Paintings and Drawings from Private Collections in Chicago, Nov. 4–25, 1938, cat. 87.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Paintings of Claude Monet, Apr. 1–June 15, 1957, no cat. no.

City Art Museum of St. Louis, Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition, Sept. 25–Oct. 22, 1957, cat. 62 (ill.); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Nov. 1–Dec. 1, 1957.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Art Center, Inaugural Exhibition, Dec. 5, 1958–Jan. 31, 1959, cat. 138 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, Mar. 15–May 11, 1975, cat. 68 (ill.).

Highland Park, Ill., Neison Harris, Sept. 26–Dec. 6, 1979, no cat.

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Vincent’s Choice: The Musée Imaginaire of Van Gogh, Feb. 14–June 15, 2003, cat. 129 (ill.).

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Monet in Normandy, June 17–Sept. 17, 2006, cat. 43 (ill.); Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Oct. 15, 2006–Jan. 14, 2007; Cleveland Museum of Art, Feb. 18–May 20, 2007.

London, Royal Academy of Arts, Impressionists by the Sea, July 7–Sept. 30, 2007, cat. 63 (ill.); Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection, Oct. 20, 2007–Jan. 13, 2008; Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Feb. 9–May 11, 2008.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Art Museum, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–Nov. 2, 2008, cat. 48 (ill.).

Publication History

Catalogue de la collection de M. Georges Bernaert (n.p., n.d.), no. 86 (ill.).

August L. Mayer, Katalog der aus der Sammlung des Kgl. Rates Marczell von Nemes, Budapest, ausgestellten Gemälde, with a preface by V. Tschudi, exh. cat. (F. Bruckmann, 1911), cat. 34 (ill.).

Emil Schäffer, “Neue Bücher der Kunstwissenschaft,” Kunst und Künstler 9 (1911), p. 260 (ill.).

Gabriel Mourey, “La collection Marczell de Nemes,” Les arts 138 (June 1913), p. 30.

“Liste des prix et noms des acquéreurs de la deuxième vacation de la collection Marczell de Nemes,” Le Gil Blas, June 19, 1913, p. 2.

M. B. W., “Summer Loan Exhibitions,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 17, 6 (Sept. 1923), p. 58 (ill.).

Toledo Museum of Art, Paintings by French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, exh. cat. (Toledo Museum of Art, 1937), cat. 14 (ill.).

Arts Club of Chicago, Loan Exhibition of Modern Paintings and Drawings from Private Collections in Chicago, exh. cat. ([Arts Club of Chicago], [1938]), cat. 87.

Daniel Catton Rich, Catalogue of the Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection of Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings (Lakeside, 1938), pp. vi; 76, cat. 77; pl. 45.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Complete List of Works,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 41, 5 (Sept.–Oct. 1947), p. 63.

Oscar Reuterswärd, Monet: En konstnärshistorik (Bonniers, 1948), pp. 160; 161, fig. 75; 284.

Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition, exh. cat. (Minneapolis Society of the Fine Arts, 1957), p. 66, cat. 62 (ill.).

William C. Seitz, “Claude Monet’s View of Nature,” in Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition, exh. cat. (Minneapolis Society of the Fine Arts, 1957), p. 25.

A. C., “Homage to Claude Monet,” Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 51, 2 (Apr. 1, 1957), p. 23.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Catalogue,” Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 51, 2 (Apr. 1, 1957), p. 33.

Oklahoma Art Center, Inaugural Exhibition, exh. cat. ([Oklahoma Art Center], [1958]), cat. 138 (ill.).

William C. Seitz, Claude Monet, Library of Great Painters (Abrams, 1960), pp. 32, 126–27 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 320.

Yvon Taillandier, Monet, trans. A. P. H. Hamilton (Crown, [1963]), pp. 46, 60 (ill.), 68.
Luigina Rossi Bortolatto, L’opera completa di Claude Monet: 1870–1889, Classici dell’arte 63 (Rizzoli, 1972), pp. 16; 57, pl. 41; 106, cat. 287 (ill.); 107.

Grace Seiberling, “The Evolution of an Impressionist,” in Paintings by Monet, ed. Susan Wise, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1975), pp. 30, 31, 33.

Susan Wise, ed., Paintings by Monet, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1975), p. 125, cat. 68 (ill.).

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. 2, Peintures, 1882–1886 (Bibliothèque des Arts, 1979), pp. 172; 173, cat. 1024 (ill.); 268, letter 628.

J. Patrice Marandel, “New Installation of Earlier Painting,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 73, 1 (Jan.–Feb., 1979), p. 15 (ill.).

Robert Herbert, “Method and Meaning in Monet,” Art in America 67, 5 (Sept. 1979), pp. 103, fig. 15; 105.

A. M. Hammacher and Renilde Hammacher, Van Gogh: A Documentary Biography, trans. Mary Charles (Thames & Hudson, 1982), pp. 142, pl. 118; 236.

Richard R. Brettell, “Monet’s Haystacks Reconsidered,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 11, 1 (Fall 1984), pp. 7; 19, fig. 16.

John House, Monet: Nature into Art (Yale University Press, 1986), pp. 188, 189.

Richard R. Brettell, French Impressionists (Art Institute of Chicago/Abrams, 1987), pp. 78 (detail), 79, 80 (ill.), 118.

Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society (Yale University Press, 1988), pp. 299; 301; 302, pl. 311.

Francesco Arcangeli, Monet (Nuova Alfa, 1989), pp. 56; 121, fig. 47; 155.

Richard Kendall, ed., Monet by Himself: Paintings, Drawings, Pastels, Letters, trans. Bridget Strevens Romer (Macdonald Orbis, 1989), pp. 145 (ill.), 319.

Rodolphe Rapetti, Monet (Anaya/Mondadori, 1990), p. 75, pl. 52.

Karin Sagner-Düchting, Claude Monet, 1840–1926: Ein Fest für die Augen (Benedikt Taschen, 1990), pp. 140, 141 (ill.). Translated by Karen Williams as Claude Monet, 1840–1926: A Feast for the Eyes (Taschen, 2004), pp. 140, 141 (ill.).

Sophie Fourny-Dargère, Monet, Profils de l’art (Chêne, 1992), p. 154, fig. 5.

Art Institute of Chicago, Treasures of 19th- and 20th-Century Painting: The Art Institute of Chicago, with an introduction by James N. Wood (Art Institute of Chicago/Abbeville, 1993), p. 101 (ill.).

Robert L. Herbert, Monet on the Normandy Coast: Tourism and Painting, 1867–1886 (Yale University Press, 1994), back cover (ill.); pp. 103; 106, fig. 115; 107; 108; 109 (detail).

Andrew Forge, Monet, Artists in Focus (Art Institute of Chicago, 1995), pp. 35; 36; 81, pl. 10; 107.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, or The Triumph of Impressionism, cat. rais., vol. 1 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 211, 212–13 (ill.).

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 386, cat. 1024 (ill.); 388.

Fabrizio d’Amico, “Monet e il Mediterraneo: da Bordighera ad Antibes,” in Monet: I luoghi della pittura, ed. Marco Goldin, exh. cat. (Linea d’Ombra, 2001), p. 176 (ill.).

Cornelia Homburg, “Vincent van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: Colleagues, Competitors, Friends,” in Vincent’s Choice: Van Gogh’s Musée Imaginaire, ed. Chris Stolwijk, Sjraar van Heugten, Leo Jansen, and Andreas Blühm, exh. cat. (Van Gogh Museum/Thames & Hudson, 2003), p. 114.

Chris Stolwijk, Sjraar van Heugten, Leo Jansen, and Andreas Blühm, eds., Vincent’s Choice: Van Gogh’s Musée Imaginaire, exh. cat. (Van Gogh Museum/Thames & Hudson, 2003), p. 264, pl. 129.

Sotheby’s, New York, Impressionist and Modern Art: Part One, sale cat. (Sotheby’s, May 6, 2003), p. 73, fig. 3.

Richard Brettell, “Monet and Normandy,” in Monet in Normandy, ed. Heather Lemonedes, Lynn Federle Orr, and David Steel, exh. cat. (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/North Carolina Museum of Art/Cleveland Museum of Art/Rizzoli, 2006), p. 48.

Heather Lemonedes, Lynn Federle Orr, and David Steel, eds., Monet in Normandy, exh. cat. (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/North Carolina Museum of Art/Cleveland Museum of Art/Rizzoli, 2006), pp. 136–37, cat. 43 (ill.); 185.

David M. Hopkin, “Fishermen, Tourists and Artists in the Nineteenth Century: The View from the Beach,” in John House and David M. Hopkin, Impressionists by the Sea, exh. cat. (Royal Academy of Arts, London/Thames & Hudson/Abrams, 2007), p. 33.

John House and David M. Hopkin, Impressionists by the Sea, exh. cat. (Royal Academy of Arts, London/Thames & Hudson/Abrams, 2007), pp. 113, cat. 63 (ill.); 139, cat. 63 (ill.); 140.

Eric M. Zafran, “Monet in America,” in Wildenstein and Co., Claude Monet (1840–1926): A Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff, exh. cat. (Wildenstein and Co., 2007), p. 127.

Eliza E. Rathbone, “Impressionists by the Sea,” Phillips Collection Magazine (Fall 2007), p. 5 (ill.).

Gloria Groom and Douglas Druick, with the assistance of Dorota Chudzicka and Jill Shaw, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago/Kimbell Art Museum, 2008), pp. 17; 108, cat. 48 (ill.). Simultaneously published as Gloria Groom and Douglas Druick, with the assistance of Dorota Chudzicka and Jill Shaw, The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 17; 108, cat. 48 (ill.).

Jennifer A. Thompson, “Van Gogh and Close-Up Techniques in 19th-Century French Painting,” in Van Gogh Up Close, ed. Cornelia Homburg, exh. cat. (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa/Philadelphia Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2012), pp. 69; 70, ill. 50; 94, n. 15.

“Cat. 22: Boats on the Beach at Étretat, 1885” in Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).

Ownership History

Acquired from [unknown] by Georges Bernaert. [1]

Acquired by Georges Bernheim, Paris, c. 1907. [2]

Acquired by Marczell de Nemes, Budapest, by 1911. [3]

Sold at the Marczell de Nemes Sale, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, June 18, 1913, lot 113, to Durand-Ruel, Paris, as an agent for an unnamed person, for 9,500 francs. [4]

Acquired by Kleinberger Gallery, Paris, by Nov. 15, 1922. [5]

Acquired by John Levy Galleries, Paris, by Nov. 15, 1922. [6]

Sold by John Levy Galleries, Paris, to Charles H. Worcester, Chicago, by Nov. 15, 1922, for $2,295. [7]

Given by Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1947. [8]

NOTES

[1] According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 386, cat. 1024 (ill.); 388.

[2] According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 386, cat. 1024 (ill.); 388.

[3] According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 386, cat. 1024 (ill.); 388.

[4] See Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, Catalogue des tableaux modernes, collection de M. Marczell de Nemes, sale cat. (Galerie Manzi-Joyant, June 18, 1913), lot 113 (ill.), as Plage. According to the Durand-Ruel Archives, “Purchased by Durand-Ruel on 18 June 1913 at the Marczell de Nemes Sale, lot no. 113, for an unnamed person, for 9 500 F,” from an annotated sales catalogue. The Durand-Ruel Archives also has a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York, dated June 24, 1913, which says, “Nous avons acheté nous-mêmes plusieurs tableaux importants, mais c’était sur des ordres et nous n’aurions certainement pas payé des prix pareils pour de tels tableaux,” and the archives further state that “Durand-Ruel purchased 11 paintings at this sale, the names of the buyers are not recorded in our books”; see Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 5, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. See also “Liste des prix et noms des acquéreurs de la deuxième vacation de la collection Marczell de Nemes,” Le Gil Blas, June 19, 1913, p. 2, which states that the asking price was 12,000 francs and that the painting was sold to M. Durand-Ruel for 9,500 francs.
[5] According to Daniel Catton Rich, Catalogue of the Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection of Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings (Lakeside, 1938), pp. vi; 76, cat. 77; pl. 45.

[6] A purchase receipt on John Levy Galleries letterhead dated November 15, 1922, mentions the sale of this painting by John Levy Galleries for $2,295 as La Plage à Etretat to Mr. C. H. Worcester. Curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.

[7] A purchase receipt on John Levy Galleries letterhead dated November 15, 1922, mentions the sale of this painting by John Levy Galleries for $2,295 as La Plage à Etretat to Mr. C. H. Worcester; curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. This painting was on loan from Charles H. Worcester to the Art Institute of Chicago, intermittently, by 1923, according to Museum Registration department artists sheets on file in Museum Registration, Art Institute of Chicago.

[8] The painting stayed in the Worcesters’ home until 1956, when Mr. Worcester died; see receipt of object 14829, on file in Museum Registration, Art Institute of Chicago. Mrs. Mary F. S. Worcester died in 1954.




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