This is one of several views Monet painted of the cliffs and sand flats of Pourville, a small fishing village on the Normandy coast of France. The title indicates a momentary stage in the continuous cycle of nature, just as the quick, spontaneous application of paint reflects Monet's efforts to capture shifting effects of light, weather, and tide. The paint layers under the beach indicate that this part of the composition originally depicted water, as would have been appropriate for a depiction of high rather than low tide. Similar changes were made in the clouds during the painting process.
Paris, Durand-Ruel. (1883), no. 9 (according to Wildenstein 1979; cannot be confirmed by Durand-Ruel). New York, Lotos Club. Pictures by Claude Monet (1899), no. 3, The Cliff near Pourville, owned by Henry W. Cannon. City Art Museum of St. Louis; Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Claude Monet: A Loan Exhibition (1957), no. 52 (repr.).Iowa City, University of Iowa Gallery of Art. Impressionism and Its Roots (1966), no. 36 (repr.).Gifu (Japan) Museum of Fine Arts; Kamakura Museum of Modern Art. Paris autour de 1882 (1982-83), no. 79 (repr.).Gallery of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (8/6/2003 - 10/26/2003): "Monet: The Seine and the Sea, Vetheuil and Normandy" exh. cat. no. 53.The Bowes Museum, County Durham, UK (5/29/2004 - 8/30/2004): "Boudin, Monet and the Sea Painters of Normandy" p. 28-29.Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; February 20 - May 29, 2005. "Masterworks from The Phillips Collection". Not in exh. cat.California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA (6/17/06 - 9/17/06); North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC (10/15/06 - 1/14/07); The Cleveland Museum of Art (2/18/07 - 5/28/07); "Monet in Normandy", exh. cat. no. 21, pp. 88, color repr. p. 88.CMA (organizer). Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: June 9 - Sept. 16, 2007; Cleveland Museum of Art, Oct. 21, 2007- January 13, 2008; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, Feb. 21-June 1, 2008; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT, June 22 - September 21, 2008; and the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI, October 12, 2008 - January 18, 2009: "Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art"Réunion des musées nationaux (organizer). Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (9/20/2010 - 1/24/2011): "Claude Monet", ex. cat. no. 57, p. 179.Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland (1/22/2017 – 5/28/2017): "Monet - Reflections and Shadows "
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