The Geese was painted a few months after the first Impressionist exhibition and the painting's bright tone and thickly applied touches of color are characteristic of Monet’s experimental technique during this period. More unusual is the painting’s vertical format and dense composition. Tall trees shade a path that leads our eye from the rippling water in the foreground to the diminutive figures of a woman and child standing in front of a sunlit, whitewashed building.
The artist, sold to Faure, Nov. 1874, as Les Oies; Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris (from 1874); Auguste Pellerin, Paris (in 1899); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in 1899]; [Foinard, Paris, in 1899]; [Durand-Ruel, Paris, sold to Behrend, 1912]; Mme. Behrend, Paris (from 1912); Allston Burr, Boston (d. 1949); [Knoedler, New York, sold to Clark, 9 June 1949, as Les Canards]; Robert Sterling Clark (1949–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.