"Meadow at Giverny" does not have an obvious focal point: no figure, structure, or natural feature attracts the viewer's attention. The high-keyed palette and, especially, the insistence on pattern further contribute to our sense of it as a decorative painting, in the best sense of the term -...
"Meadow at Giverny" does not have an obvious focal point: no figure, structure, or natural feature attracts the viewer's attention. The high-keyed palette and, especially, the insistence on pattern further contribute to our sense of it as a decorative painting, in the best sense of the term - as a work concerned, above all, with the very qualities of color and pattern. It is also a painting of loneliness. The only element that breaks from the pattern of horizontals is the tree in the background that frees itself from its neighbors. Were the tree a human figure, it could be described as displaying itself against the sky in a gesture of defiance or triumph. A tree is not a human being, of course, yet the temptation to read the one for the other is strong. This tree is isolated, mirroring the position of the viewer looking at this deserted, if colorful, meadow.
Lower right: Claude Monet
1898, purchased from the artist by Galerie Georges Petit, Bernheim-Jeune, and Montaignac, Paris (?). With Jos Hessel, Paris. By 1914, Alexandre Berthier, Prince de Wagram (d. 1918), Paris; April 14, 1914, sold by Berthier to Durand-Ruel, Paris, (stock no. 10519); November 11, 1915, transferred from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3897); March 20; 1916, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), Boston; 1929, by inheritance to Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1939, bequest of Hannah M. Edwards to the MFA [see note 1]. (Accession Date: October 11, 1939) NOTES:  Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.
Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection