Tucked into the Seine Valley and surrounded by rolling hills, low marshlands, and stands of poplar and willow, the hamlet of Giverny appeared to the French impressionist master Claude Monet as a rural paradise. He settled there in 1883, and his presence drew young painters—eager to adopt his method of plein air (open air) painting—to the village and its picturesque vistas. In the summer of 1885, Theodore Robinson was among the first of a wave of American artists to go there, and he returned regularly from 1887 to 1892 to paint and enjoy a warm friendship with Monet and his family. This view from the fields above the village, captured in deft brushstrokes and pure color, shows how well Robinson responded to Monet’s innovations. But the strong, interlocking geometry of the old buildings crowded along Giverny’s narrow streets, gives the composition a stability that is distinctively his own.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)
Artist Theodore Robinson, American, 1852-1896
  • Giverny
Date 1889
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 17 3/4 × 21 inches (45.1 × 53.3 cm)
Framed: 26 × 30 inches (66 × 76.2 cm)
Credit Line Bequest of James Pearson Duffy
Accession Number 2010.107
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W292, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed and dated, lower right: Th. Robinson | 1889
March 24, 1898, sale, Oil Paintings and Studies by the Late Theodore Robinson, American Art Association, lot 30 (New York, New York, USA) [as Giverny];
purchased by Samuel T. Shaw.
January 21, 1926, sale, The Samuel T. Shaw Collection of American Paintings, American Art Association, lot 42 (New York, New York, USA) [as Giverny];
purchased by Rehn Galleries (New York, New York, USA).
by 1946, David Roberts (New York, New York, USA).
by 1957, Mrs. Lonie H. Jenkins.
Knoedler Gallery (New York, New York, USA).
April 8, 1957, James P. Duffy;
2010-present, bequest to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Louisiana Purchase Exhibition Company, Illustrations of Selected Works in the Various National Sections of the Department of Art. St. Louis, 1904, p. xlii.

American Art Association. The Samuel T. Shaw Collection of American Paintings. January 21, 1926, lot 42.

Official Catalogue of Exhibitors: Universal Exposition. St. Louis, no. 650.

Baur, John I. H. Theodore Robinson: 1852–1896. Brooklyn, 1946, no. 88.