Claude Monet - Charing Cross Bridge (1899)
On a late winter afternoon, London’s frenzied activity seems to have drawn to a halt. Only a few barges move slowly under Charing Cross Bridge, with the hazy silhouette of the Houses of Parliament barely visible in the background. This painting is one of a series of views of the Thames produced by Monet between 1899 and 1901 from the Savoy Hotel, overlooking the gardens of the Victoria Embankment. Though varying in subject-matter, these paintings share a common aim: to capture the light filtering through the winter fog. Of the thirty-seven views comprising the series, only twelve were finished on site, most being completed in Monet’s studio at Giverny, where he showed less interest in topographical accuracy than in the treatment of light as a whole.
Claude Monet - Poplars on the Epte (1891)
This is a work from Monet’s celebrated series of poplar paintings made between the spring and autumn of 1891, the year after he had settled in Giverny. He used a boat as a floating studio and captured beautifully the shimmering effects of sunlight on water. The trees were ready to be sold for timber, but Monet, in partnership with a timber merchant, bought the trees at auction so that he could continue painting them.
Claude Monet - Woman with a Parasol in the Garden in Argenteuil (1875)
Claude Monet - Flower Beds at Vétheuil, detail
Claude Monet - The Path through the Irises, detail (1824)
Most of the motifs for the two hundred canvases on which Monet worked after his 1908 trip to Venice were take from the gardens on his property at Giverny. His views of the water-lily pond are perhaps the most famous, but he also extracted novel compositions from other corners of the grounds. Like the paintings he made of water lilies, his views of irises were meant to rise from the particular to the universal. In this work, the most highly finished of the series, the flowers are offered not as botanical specimens but as archetypes. Monet was already experiencing great difficulties with his eyesight, but any grower of irises will recognize that he knowingly found the reddish purple tint that hides within every blue iris.
Source: Flickr / rverc