The Old Fort at Antibes, 1888 - by Claude Monet

Monet declined to exhibit in the eighth Impressionist Exhibition in 1886, having realized that the group was disseminating and that his style was moving in a different direction from that of the others. It was also the year of his American debut through the efforts of Durand Ruel, who organized an exhibition of Impressionist works in New York. Around the some time Monet began to exhibit with Georges Petit (1856-1920), another and rival dealer to Durand Ruel, selling a number of paintings to Theo Van Gogh (1857-91), younger brother to Vincent van Gogh, who worked for the dealers Boussod and Valadon (formerly Goupil's).

This painting was one of 10 painted at the sun-bathed Antibes on the Cote d'Azure, bought by Theo and exhibited at the Boussod and Valadon Gallery off Boulevard Montmartre. The exhibition received a mixed reaction, and was bitterly criticized by Camille Pissarro, who had turned to Neo-impressionism and considered Monet's Antibes paintings to be superficially decorative without expressing the nuances and harmony of nature at a more fundamental level. These paintings, however, sold well and are beautifully worked and so delicately coloured that they appear almost as pastels.