Claude Monet in his gardens in 1917.Étienne Clémentel via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
A previously unknown drawing by Claude Monet has been uncovered, found tucked behind another pastel. The hidden artwork was located behind the mount of an already-rare piece, and was only discovered after London art dealer Jonathan Green brought the bargain pastel combo (along with a third from the same period) home from a 2014 auction in Paris.
Though Monet was avid about drawing and sketching, the Impressionist artist was best known for his paintings, and his pastels are less common. The previously unknown pastel depicts the jetty and lighthouse in Le Havre, the French town where Monet grew up. His famous Impression, Sunrise—the painting that gave Impressionism its name—also depicts a port in Le Havre.
Monet himself gave the three pastels as a wedding present to his art dealer’s granddaughter in 1924, and the works had stayed in the family until appearing at the Paris auction last year. The unknown pastel was authenticated by the Wildenstein Institute, a French art research center. All three pastels are thought to be from 1868, when Monet was just starting out as a young artist.