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

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by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.

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

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Budapest, Szépmüvészeti Muzeumban, Nemes Marczell Kepgyüjtemenyeinek Kiallitasa, 1910-1911 [acc. to Wildenstein 1996]

Munich, Ältere Pinakothek, Exhibition of the Marczell de Nemes Collection, 1911, cat. 34 [acc. to Wildenstein 1996]

Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Sammlung des Köngliche Rates Marczell von Nemes, 1912, cat. 104 [acc. to Wildenstein 1996]

Chicago, The Art Institute, Exhibition of the Worcester Collection, July 24-September 23, 1923.

Toledo, Museum of Art, Paintings by French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, November 7-December 12, 1937, cat. 14 (ill.) as Boats on the Beach at Etretat.

Chicago, Arts Club, Loan Exhibition of Modern Paintings and Drawings from Privates Collections in Chicago, November 4-November 25, 1938, cat. 87 as Fishing Boats, Beach at Etretat.

St. Louis, City Art Museum, Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition, September 25-October 22, 1957, p. 25 cat. 62 (ill.) as Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat, 1885; traveled to Minneapolis, Institute of Arts, November 1-December 1, 1957.

Oklahoma City, Art Center, Inaugural Exhibition, December 5, 1958-January 31, 1959, cat. 138 (ill.) as Boats at Winter Quarters: Etretat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, March 15-May 11, 1975, pp. 30- 33, 125 cat. 68 (ill.) as Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat/Bateaux en cale: Etretat, 1885.

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Monet in Normandy, June 17-September 17, 2006, traveled to North Carolina Museum of Art, October 15, 2006-January 14, 2007, and The Cleveland Museum of Art, February 18-May 20, 2007, cat. 43, as Boats at the Beach at Étretat, 1885.

London, Royal Academy of Arts, Impressionists by the Sea, July 7-September 30, 2007, traveled to Washington DC, October 20, 2007-January 13, 2008 and Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, February 9 – May 11, 2008, cat. 63, as Boats on the Beach, Etretat, 1885.

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

Publication History

Collection G. Bernaert, s.d., cat. 86 (ill.) [acc. to Wildenstein 1996]

E. Schäffer, “Neue Bücher der Kunstwissenschaft,” Kunst und Künstler (1911), p. 260 (ill.) as Schiffe am Strande.

“La Collection Marczell de Nemes,” Les Arts (June, 1913), p. 30.

Jennifer A. Thompson, “Van Gogh and Close-up Techniques in 19th-century French Painting,” Van Gogh: Up Close. Exh. cat. (Yale UP, 2012), p. 69, fig. 50.

M.B.W., “Summer Loan Exhibitions,” The Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 17, 6 (September, 1923), p. 58 (ill.) as Winters Quarters for Boats, Etretat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of the Worcester Collection (1938), cat. 77.

O. Reuterswärd, 1948, pp. 161, 284 (ill.).

William C. Seitz, Claude Monet (New York, 1960), p. 126, 127 (ill.).

The Art institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 320 as Boats in Winter Quarters: Etretat, 1885.

L. Rossi Bortolatto, 1972, p. 106 (ill.) pl. XLI.

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné vol. 1 (Paris, 1974), pp. 172, 173 (ill.) as Bateaux sur la Plage à Étretat, 1885.

A.M. and Renilde Hammacher, Van Gogh: A Documentary Biography, trans. Mary Charles (London, 1982), pp. 142. 236 cat. 118 as Four Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat, 1885.

Richard R. Brettell, French Impressionists (Chicago, 1987), pp. 78, 79, 80, 118 (ill.) as Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat, 1885.

Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society (New Haven, 1988), p. 301-302 pl. 311 as Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat, November 1885.

Robert L. Herbert, Monet on the Normandy Coast: Tourism and Painting, 1867-1886 (New Haven, 1994), p. 106 fig. 115 as Boats in Winter Quarters, 1885.

Andrew Forge, Monet (Chicago, 1995), pp. 24-27, 77, 106 pl. 10 (ill.) as Boats in Winter Quarters, Etretat, 1885.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné vol. 3 (Koln, 1996), p. 388, no. 1024 as Bateaux sur la Plage à Étretat, 1885.

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 48, p. 108 (ill.).

Ownership History

G. Bernaert [this and the following information according to Wildenstein 1996]. Georges Bernheim, Paris, c.1907. Marczell de Nemes, Budapest by 1911; his sale, Paris, Galerie Manzi Joyant, June 16, 1913, lot 113, as Plage; sold to Durand-Ruel. Kleinberger Gallery, Paris [acc. to file notes and 1938 Worcester cat.]. John Levy Galleries, Paris; sold as La Plage à Etretat for $2, 295 to Mr. and Mrs. Worcester, Chicago in November 1922 [see letter from Levy Galleries, dated November 15, 1922]; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1947.

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