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by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.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 d’oeuvres récentes de Claude Monet, May 1891, cat. 13, as Meules. (Coucher du soleil; effet de neige.).

Boston, Copley Society, Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet and Eleven Sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Mar. 1905, cat. 84, as Meules. Effet de Neige, Soleil Couchant. 1891. Lent by Mrs. Potter Palmer.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Potter Palmer, May 10–Nov., 1910, cat. 36, as Haystacks in winter.

Poughkeepsie (N.Y.), Vassar College, Art Department Picture of the Month, series 1 (circuit exhibition, organized by the American Federation of Arts), Nov. 1954; possibly La Jolla (Calif.) Art Center, Dec. 1954; Charleston, S.C., Gibbes Art Gallery, Jan. 1955; Columbus (Ga.) Museum of Arts and Crafts, Feb. 1955; possibly Seattle, Charles and Emma Frye Free Public Art Museum, Mar. 1955; Louisville, Ky., J. B. Speed Art Museum, Apr. 1955; Berea (Ky.), Berea College of Art Department, May 1955.

Park Forest (Ill.) Art Center, Mar. 25–Apr. 22, 1956, no cat.

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

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Claude Monet: Seasons and Moments, Mar. 9–May 15, 1960, cat. 52; Los Angeles County Museum, June 14–Aug. 7, 1960.

Buffalo. N.Y., Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Color and Field, 1890–1970, Sept. 15–Nov. 1, 1970, cat. 14 (ill.); Dayton (Ohio) Art Institute, Nov. 20, 1970–Jan. 10, 1971; Cleveland Museum of Art, Feb. 4–March 28, 1971.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Monet, Mar. 15–May 11, 1975, cat. 87 (ill.).

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, Apr. 19–July 9, 1978, cat. 13 (ill.); Saint Louis Art Museum, Aug. 1–Oct. 8, 1978.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, June 28–Sept. 16, 1984, cat. 112 (ill.); Art Institute of Chicago, Oct. 23, 1984–Jan. 6, 1985; Paris, Galeries Nationales d’Exposition du Grand Palais, as L’impressionnisme et le paysage français, Feb. 4–Apr. 22, 1985.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art of the Edge: European Frames, 1300–1900, Oct. 17–Dec. 14, 1986, not in cat.

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Monet in the ’90s: The Series Paintings, Feb. 7–Apr. 29, 1990, cat. 22 (ill.); Art Institute of Chicago, May 19–Aug. 12, 1990; London, Royal Academy of Arts, Sept. 7–Dec. 9, 1990.

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago’s Dream, a World’s Treasure: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1893–1993, Nov. 1, 1993–Jan. 9, 1994, no cat. no. (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Claude Monet, 1840–1926, July 22–Nov. 26, 1995, cat. 96 (ill.).

Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de Neige, Sept. 19, 1998–Jan. 3, 1999, cat. 26 (ill.); San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at the Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens, Jan. 30–May 2, 1999 (Washington only).

Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Monets Vermächtnis: Serie—Ordnung und Obsession, Sept. 28, 2001–Jan. 6, 2002, no cat. no. (ill.).

Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Déjà Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces, Oct. 7, 2007–Jan. 1, 2008, cat. 58 (ill.); Phoenix Art Museum, Jan. 20–May 4, 2008.

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

Publication History

Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, Exposition Claude Monet, exh. cat. (Galeries Durand-Ruel, 1891), p. 16, cat. 13.

“Claude Monet Exhibit Opens,” Boston Post, Mar. 15, 1905.

Copley Society, Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet and Eleven Sculptures by August Rodin, exh. cat. (Copley Society, 1905), p. 26, cat 84.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Potter Palmer, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1910), cat. 36.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Accessions and Loans,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 16, 3 (May, 1922), p. 47.

M.C., “Monets in the Art Institute,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 19, 2 (Feb. 1925), p. 20.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1925), p. 146, cat. 835.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings and Drawings (Chicago, 1932), p. 164, cat. 22.431.

Oscar Reuterswärd, Monet: En konstnärshistorik (Bonniers, 1948), p. 286.

American Federation of Arts, Picture of the Month: A Special Program Offered by the American Federation of Arts, exh. brochure (American Federation of Arts, 1954), pp. 1, cat. 4; 4 (ill.).

“Claude Monet Painting to be Shown at Gibbes Art Gallery,” News and Courier, Charleston, S. C., Sunday Morning, Dec. 26, 1954, p. Ten–B (ill.).

“April Picture of the Month,” J. B. Speed Art Museum Bulletin 16, 4 (Apr. 1955), p. 6 (ill.).

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

William C. Seitz, Claude Monet: Seasons and Moments, exh. cat. (Museum of Modern Art, New York/Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Doubleday, 1960), p. 61, cat. 52.

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

John Coplans, Serial Imagery, exh. cat. (Pasadena Art Museum, 1968), pp. 23, fig. 2c; 27.

Priscilla Colt, introduction to Color and Field, 1890–1970, exh. cat. (Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Dayton Art Institute/Cleveland Museum of Art, 1970), p. 16.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Dayton Art Institute, and Cleveland Museum of Art, Color and Field, 1890–1970, exh. cat. (Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Dayton Art Institute/Cleveland Museum of Art, 1970), p. 31, cat. 14 (ill.).

Grace Seiberling, “The Evolution of an Impressionist,” in Paintings by Monet, ed. Susan Wise, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1975), pp. 32, 33.

Susan Wise, ed., Paintings by Monet, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1975), p. 144, cat. 87 (ill.).

Taft Museum, Best of Fifty, exh. cat. (Taft Museum, 1977), pp. 62–63 (ill.).

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, exh. cat. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1978), pp. 56, cat. 13 (ill.); 156.

Daniel Wildenstein, “Monet’s Giverny,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, exh. cat. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978), p. 21.

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. 3, Peintures, 1887–1898 (Bibliothèque des Arts, 1979), pp. 38; 42, n. 1032; 140; 141, cat. 1278 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, “Monet’s Haystacks Reconsidered,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 11, 1 (Fall 1984), pp. 6; 7; 8–9, pl. 3; 14; 18, fig. 13 (ill.); 19.

Andrea P. A. Belloli, ed., A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1984), p. 365.

Richard R. Brettell, “The Fields of France,” in A Day in the Country: Impressionism and the French Landscape, ed. Andrea P. A. Belloli, exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1984), pp. 246; 260–61; 271, no. 112 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, “La campagne française,” in Réunion des Musées Nationaux, L’impressionnisme et le paysage français, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1985), pp. 261; 282–291. no. 112 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, Post-Impressionists (Art Institute of Chicago/Abrams, 1987), pp. 34–35 (detail), 37 (ill.), 118.

Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet in the ’90s: The Series Paintings, exh. cat. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Yale University Press, 1989), cover (detail); pp. 3; 77; 80; 84–85, pl. 26 (overall and detail); 296, cat. 22.

John Sallis, “Monet’s Grainstacks: Shades of Time,” Tema Celeste 30 (Mar.–Apr. 1991), pp. 63; 65; 66 (ill.); 67.

Virginia Spate, Claude Monet: Life and Work (Rizzoli/Thames & Hudson, 1992), pp. 213; 215, ill. 231.

Neil Harris, Chicago’s Dream, a World’s Treasure: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1893–1993, ed. Teri J. Edelstein, afterword by James N. Wood, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1993), p. 31 (ill.).

William Mullen, “Art Institute Exhibit Hails Benefactors,” Chicago Tribune (Nov. 2, 1993), p. 1 (ill.).

George Keyes, “Claude Monet’s Grainstack, Sun in the Mist,” Arts 16, no. 12 (Dec. 1993), p. 7 (ill.).

Andrew Forge, Monet, Artists in Focus (Art Institute of Chicago, 1995), pp. 44; 47 (detail); 49; 88, pl. 17; 108.

Karin Hellandsjø, ed., Monet i Norge/Monet en Norvege/Monet in Norway, exh. cat. (Rogaland Kunstmuseum/Musée Rodin, 1995), pp. 49, 57 (ill.).

Charles F. Stuckey, with the assistance of Sophia Shaw, Claude Monet, 1840–1926, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago/Thames & Hudson, 1995), pp. 117, cat. 96 (ill.); 220; 237.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, or The Triumph of Impressionism, cat. rais., vol. 1 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 268–69, cat. 1278 (detail); 275.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 489; 492, cat. 1278 (ill.); 500.

Carla Rachman, Monet (Phaidon, 1997), pp. 244; 245, fig. 157; 251.

Charles S. Moffett, “Effet de Neige: ‘Claude Monet and a Few Others…,’” in Charles S. Moffett, Eliza E. Rathbone, Katherine Rothkopf, and Joel Isaacson, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige, exh. cat. (Phillips Collection/Philip Wilson, 1998), pp. 20, 22.

Charles S. Moffett, Eliza E. Rathbone, Katherine Rothkopf, and Joel Isaacson, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige, exh. cat. (Phillips Collection/Philip Wilson, 1998), pp. 79; 211, cat. 26 (ill.).

Eliza E. Rathbone, “Road by Saint-Siméon Farm in Winter,” in Charles S. Moffett, Eliza E. Rathbone, Katherine Rothkopf, and Joel Isaacson, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige, exh. cat. (Phillips Collection/Philip Wilson Publishers, 1998), p. 82.

Katherine Rothkopf, “Rue Eugène Moussoir at Moret: Winter,” in Charles S. Moffett, Eliza E. Rathbone, Katherine Rothkopf, and Joel Isaacson, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige, exh. cat. (Phillips Collection/Philip Wilson, 1998), p. 188.

Katherine Rothkopf, “Stacks of Wheat (Snow Effect, Overcast Day); Stack of Wheat; Grainstacks: Snow Effect; Stacks of Wheat (Sunset, Snow Effect),” in Charles S. Moffett, Eliza E. Rathbone, Katherine Rothkopf, and Joel Isaacson, Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige, exh. cat. (Phillips Collection/Philip Wilson, 1998), pp. 120; 122; 125, cat. 26 (ill.).

John Sallis, La mirada de las cosas: El arte como provocación (Universidad de Los Andes, 1998), pp. [6], fig. 6; 47, fig. 6; 115.

John Sallis, Shades—of Painting at the Limit (Indiana University Press, 1998), pl. 5; 26, note 13; 37, note 32; 47–48; 54.

James Henry Rubin, Impressionism, Art and Ideas (Phaidon, 1999), pp. 348; 351 fig. 224.

Carolyn Bailey Gill, ed., Time and the Image (Manchester University Press, 2000), cover (detail); pp. ix; pl. 1.

John Sallis, “Time and Image,” in Time and the Image, ed. Carolyn Bailey Gill (Manchester University Press, 2000), p. 20.

Art Institute of Chicago, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in the Art Institute of Chicago, selected by James N. Wood (Art Institute of Chicago/Hudson Hills, 2000), p. 134 (ill.).

Gottfried Boehm, “‘Work’ and ‘Series’: Problems in Modern Conceptions of Pictorial Structure Since Monet,” in Monet and Modernism, ed. Karin Sagner-Düchting, exh. cat. (Prestel, 2001), p. 161 (ill.).

Annabelle Görgen, “‘Die Unschuld des Auges’: Serielle Wiederholung und die Suche nach den Ursprüngen,” in Monets Vermächtnis: Serie—Ordnung und Obsession, ed. Christoph Heinrich, exh. cat. (Hamburger Kunsthalle/Hatje Cantz, 2001), p. 45.

Christoph Heinrich, “Une série d’effets différents: Monets ‘Getreideschober’ als Hülle für das Licht, die Zeit, das Universum—und ‘die märchenhafte Kraft und Pracht der Malerei,’” in Monets Vermächtnis: Serie—Ordnung und Obsession, ed. Christoph Heinrich, exh. cat. (Hamburger Kunsthalle/Hatje Cantz, 2001), p. 17.

Christoph Heinrich, ed., Monets Vermächtnis: Serie—Ordnung und Obsession, exh. cat. (Hamburger Kunsthalle/Hatje Cantz, 2001), pp. 63 (ill.), 183.

Richard R. Brettell, From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism, vol. 2 (Teaching Co., 2002), pp. 161, 166, 183.

Birgit Zeidler, Claude Monet: Life and Work, trans. by Paul Aston in association with Goodfellow & Egan (Könemann, 2005), p. 69 (ill.).

Eik Kahng, ed. The Repeating Image: Multiples in French Painting from David to Matisse, exh. cat. (Walters Art Museum/Yale University Press, 2007), p. 196, cat. 58 (ill.).

Charles F. Stuckey, “The Predications and Implications of Monet’s Series,” in The Repeating Image: Multiples in French Painting from David to Matisse, ed. Eik Kahng, exh. cat. (Walters Art Museum/Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 85; 86, fig. 1; 88.

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, 2007), p. 112; 143, fig. 62b.

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. 13; 22; 103; 108; 156; 158, cat. 77 (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. 13; 22; 103; 108; 156; 158, cat. 77 (ill.).

Jon Kear, The Treasures of the Impressionists (Andre Deutsch/Carlton, 2008), pp. 51 (ill.), 72.

Timothy A. Long, Bertha Honoré Palmer (Chicago Historical Society, 2009), p. 21 (ill.).

American Federation of Arts, AFA: A Century in the Arts (American Federation of Arts, 2010), p. 38 (ill.).

Laura Meixner, “‘Gambling with Bread’: Monet, Speculation, and the Marketplace,” Modernism/Modernity 17, 1 (Jan. 2010), p. 178, fig. 2.

Hervé Descottes, with Cecilia E. Ramos, Architectural Lighting: Designing with Light and Space (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011), p. 46, fig. 3.10.

“Cat. 29: Stacks of Wheat (Sunset, Snow Effect), 1890/91,” in Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).

Ownership History

Sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris, July 20, 1891, for 3,200 francs. [1]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York, Oct. 30, 1891. [2]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Potter Palmer, Chicago, Feb. 29, 1892, for $13,000. [3]

By descent from Potter Palmer (died 1902), Chicago, to the Palmer family. [4]

Given by the Palmer family to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1922.

NOTES

[1] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock book for 1891–1901 (no. 1075, as Meules, effet de neige, soleil couchant): “Purchased from Monet by DR Paris on 20 July 1891 for 3 200 F / Stock DR Paris no. 1075; photo no. 220,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 5, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.

[2] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock book for 1891–1901 (no. 1075, as Meules, effet de neige, soleil couchant): “Sold to DR New York on 30 October 1891.” The transaction is also recorded in the Durand–Ruel, New York, stock book for 1888–1893 (no. 847, as Meules, effet de neige, soleil couchant): “Purchased by DR New York in (???),” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 5, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.

[3] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, New York, stock book for 1888–1893 (no. 847, as Meules, effet de neige, soleil couchant): “Stock DR New York no. 847 / Sold to Potter Palmer on 29 February 1892 for $13 000,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 5, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.


[4] This painting was on loan from the Palmer family to the Art Institute of Chicago, intermittently, by 1921, according to Museum Registration department artists sheets, on file in Museum Registration, Art Institute of Chicago.




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