In 1878 Monet moved down the Seine from Argenteuil to Vétheuil, a small town on a bend in the river. Over the next few years he would paint Vétheuil from different points of view and in every season, as seen from the riverbanks, from the meadows, and from a boat he had arranged as a kind of floating studio. It was during the winter of 1878/79 that Monet executed this picture, looking back across the ice floes of the Seine toward Vétheuil’s medieval church tower. On December 12, 1879, Dr. de Bellio, an avid collector of Monet’s work, wrote to the artist that this was one canvas that would never leave his possession.
Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.