About This Artwork

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

Stacks of Wheat (Sunset, Snow Effect), 1890/91

Oil on canvas
65.3 x 100.4 cm (25 11/16 x 39 1/2 in.)
Inscribed at lower right: Claude Monet 91

Potter Palmer Collection, 1922.431

Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1979 no. 1278, p. 140

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by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.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

Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Exposition Claude Monet, May 1891, cat. 13.

Boston, Copley Hall, Monet, 1905, cat. 84.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Potter, 1910, cat. 36.

American Federation of Arts, Picture of the Month (Series I), 1954-1955, cat. 4 (ill.).

Park Forest, Ill., Park Forest Art Center, March 25-April 22, 1956, no cat.

Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College, November–December, 1954.

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Works of Claude Monet, March 7-May 15, 1960, traveled to Los Angeles, June 14-August 7, 1960, cat. 52.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Color and Field Abstract Painting in the Sixties and Its Backgrounds, February 4-March 28, 1971, cat. 14 (ill.), traveled to The Albright-Knox Gallery, September 15- November 1, 1970, The Dayton Art Institute, November 15, 1970 - January 1971.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, March 15- May 11, 1975, cat. 87 (ill.).

Cincinnati, The Taft Museum, The Best of Fifty, March 22- May 8, 1977, no cat. no., ill.

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, April 19-July 9, 1978, cat. 13 (ill.), traveled to St. Louis, The St. Louis Art Museum, late 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. 112 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, October 23, 1984-Janruary 6, 1985 and Paris, Galeries Nationales 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, not included in cat.

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Monet in the ‘90’s: The Series Paintings, February 7-April 29, 1990, cat 22 (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, Chicago’s Dream a World’s Treasure: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1893-1993, November 1, 1993-January 9, 1994, no cat. no., pl. 9.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Claude Monet 1840-1926, July 22-November 26, 1995, cat. 96 (ill.).

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Monets Vermächtnis: Serie, Ordnung und Obsession, September 28, 2001-January 6, 2002, no cat. no. (ill.).

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 77 (ill.).

Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Déjà Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces, 2007-2008, p. 86-87 (ill.); traveled to the Phoenix Art Museum.

Publication History

M.C., “Monets in the Art Institute,” The Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 19 (1925), p. 20.

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings and Drawings (Chicago, 1932), p. 164.

“April Picture of the Month,” The J. B. Speed Art Museum Bulletin 14, 4 (April 1955), ill.

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

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné vol. 3 (Lausanne, 1974), p. 140, no. 1278 (ill.)

Richard R. Brettell, “Monet’s Haystacks Reconsidered,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 2, 1 (1984), pp. 4-21, 6, pl. 3, fig 13.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné vol. 3 (Cologne, 1996), no. 1278 (ill.).

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 77, pp. 156-59 (ill.).

Ownership History

Bought from the artist by Durand-Ruel, Paris in June 1891; sold to Potter Palmer (died 1902), Chicago, 1892; by descent in the Palmer family; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1922.

View mobile website