The Four Trees, 1891. Claude Monet. Oil on canvas. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929.
During summer and fall 1891 Monet painted a series of views of poplars along the Epte River, at Giverny. Completion of the series was temporarily threatened when the village of Limetz, across the Epte from Giverny, decided to sell the trees at auction. Monet paid a local lumber merchant to ensure that the trees remained standing until he finished his work. He painted some of the pictures from the riverbank, and others, such as this one, from a boat specially outfitted with grooves to hold multiple canvases. Like the Haystacks, the Poplars were first exhibited as a series. Fifteen were shown in Paris in 1892.