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Landscape painting depicts from above a small cottage on a grassy bluff overlooking a calm ocean in daylight.

The painting is constructed of loose, suggestive brushstrokes. Depicted from above, a small cottage is in the foreground to the right atop a grassy bluff overlooking the ocean. The pitched roof of the blue-gray cottage is brown with two chimneys. The structure is situated close to the ledge. Tall, dark green foliage surrounds the cottage and the descent to the shore. The ocean appears calm, the bright sunlight reflected in the gentle waves. In the distance, a stretch of land is visible against a clear blue sky.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Claude Monet, French (Paris, France 1840 - 1926 Giverny, France)
House of the Customs Officer, Varengeville
Other Titles
Alternate Title: House of the Customs Officer, Pourville (near Varengeville, Normandy Coast)
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
61 x 74.9 cm (24 x 29 1/2 in.)
framed: 82.6 × 95.6 × 8.9 cm (32 1/2 × 37 5/8 × 3 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l.: Claude Monet


Recorded Ownership History
Claude Monet, sold; to Octave Mirbeau, 1884, sold [through Bernheim-Jeune, February 24, 1919, no. 26]; to [Durand-Ruel, 1919], sold; to Annie Swan Coburn [no. 4243], September 27, 1926, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1934.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Annie Swan Coburn
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Georges LeComte, L'Art Impressionistes d'Apres la Collection Privee de Monsieur Durand-Ruel (Paris, France, 1892), p. 256? etched reproduction by A. La Fouzet opposite p. 14
  • Sale of the Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture Collected by the Critic Octave Mirbeau, auct. cat., Galerie Durand-Ruel (Paris, France, February 24, 1919), repr. no. 26
  • Exhibition of The Mrs. L. L. Coburn Collection Modern Paintings and Watercolors, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL, 1932), no. 20
  • "Det Levende Ojeblik", Bulletin of Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1958), repr.
  • Anne V. Dort, "French Art of the 19th Century", Boston Symphony Orchestra Concert Bulletin (Boston, MA, 1958 -1959), no. 21, p. 1316
  • Françoise Cachin, "En Defenseur Oublie de l'Art Moderne", L'Oeil (June 1962), no. 90, repr. p. 54
  • Highlights from the Collections of the Fogg Museum and Harvard Alumni of St. Louis, exh. cat., City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis, 1964), cat. 34
  • Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 1967)
  • Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1967), cat. 37
  • Steven Z. Levine, "Monet's 'Cabane du Douanier' ", Fogg Art Museum Annual Report 1971-1972, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1973), pp. 32-44, repr. b/w p. 35
  • Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et Catalogue Raisonné, La Bibliothèque des Arts (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1974 - 1991), vol. II, no. 739
  • John House, Monet, Phaidon Press (Oxford, England, 1981), fig. 34, repr. in b/w
  • Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), pp. 121, 246, repr. b/w cat. no. 350
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 8 p. 47
  • Monet Retrospective, exh. cat. (Tokyo, Japan, 1994), no. 35, p. 145, repr. in color
  • Steven Z. Levine, Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: the Modernist Myth of the Self, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL and London, England, 1994), text p. 173; repr. fig. 92
  • John Russell Taylor, Claude Monet: Impressions of France from Le Havre to Giverny, Collins and Brown (London, England, 1995), p.122-123, color
  • Virginia Spate and Gary Hickey, Monet & Japan, exh. cat., National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (Canberra, 2001), no. 12, p. 33; repr. in color p. 89
  • Michael Clarke and Richard Thomson, Monet: The Seine and the Sea 1878-1883, exh. cat., National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland, 2003), no. 58, repr. in color
  • Ben Luke, A Fresh Impression of Claude Monet, The Art Newspaper (January 22, 2017), [], accessed February 21, 2017
  • Ulf Küster, Claude Monet: Ich will das Unmögliche, Hatje Cantz (Berlin, 2017), pp.60-61, repr. p. 60 as fig. 15
  • Monet, Fondation Beyeler (Basel, 2017), p. 32, repr.
  • Ulf Küster, ed., Monet: Light, Shadow, and Reflection, exh. cat., Fondation Beyeler (Basel, 2017), cat. no. 79, repr. p. 79
  • Richard Thomson, Monet and Architecture, exh. cat., National Gallery (London, 2018), p. 52, pl. 42, detail pl. 5
  • Angelica Daneo, Christoph Heinrich, Michael Philipp, and Ortrud Westheider, ed., Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, exh. cat. (Denver, 2019), cat. no. 94, repr. p. 208
  • Jennifer A. Thompson, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press (New Haven, 2019), p. 82, repr. as fig. 39

Exhibition History

  • Recently Imported Work by Monet, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 01/01/1919 - 12/31/1919
  • Exhibition of the Mrs. L.L. Coburn Collection, Modern Paintings and Watercolors, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 04/06/1932 - 10/09/1932
  • French Art of the 19th Century, Symphony Hall, Boston, 03/24/1959 - 04/24/1959
  • Unidentified Exhibition, Arthur D. Little, 1959, Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, 05/15/1959 - 06/15/1959
  • Unidentified Exhibition, Wesleyan University, 1959, Davison Art Center, Middletown, 07/01/1959 - 08/31/1959
  • Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 05/08/1967 - 06/11/1967
  • Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967
  • Unidentified Exhibition, Yale University Art Gallery, 1974, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/01/1974 - 11/01/1974
  • Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
  • Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990
  • Monet Retrospective, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, 02/11/1994 - 04/07/1994; Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, 04/16/1994 - 06/10/1994; Hiroshima Museum of Art, Hiroshima, 06/18/1994 - 07/31/1994
  • Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000
  • Monet & Japan, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Parkes, 03/09/2001 - 06/11/2001; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 06/29/2001 - 09/16/2001
  • Monet: The Seine and the Sea, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 08/02/2003 - 10/26/2003
  • 32Q: 2700 Impressionism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/2021 - 07/14/2022
  • Monet: Light, Shadow, and Reflection , Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel, 01/22/2017 - 05/28/2017
  • Monet and Architecture, National Gallery, London, 04/09/2018 - 07/29/2018
  • Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, Denver Art Museum, Denver, 10/21/2019 - 02/02/2020; Museum Barberini, Potsdam, 02/29/2020 - 07/19/2020

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Related Works

Verification Level

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