Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun), 1891. Claude Monet. Oil on canvas. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929.
Between 1890 and 1891 Monet devoted some thirty paintings to the haystacks in a field near his house at Giverny. In the midst of this effort, he wrote to the critic Gustave Geoffroy: "I am working very hard, struggling with a series of different effects (haystacks), but at this season the sun sets so fast I cannot follow it. . . .? The more I continue, the more I see that a great deal of work is necessary in order to succeed in rendering what I seek." Haystacks was the first group of paintings that Monet exhibited as a series; in 1891, fifteen were shown at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris.