The Houses of Parliament by Monet
- January 9, 2014
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Beginning in February 1900 Impressionist Claude Monet painted on a terrace of the Saint Thomas Hospital in London near the Westminster Bridge across the Thames River from the Houses of Parliament. He executed a series of paintings depicting the Houses of Parliament at different times of day and in different weather conditions. He reportedly moved from one canvas to the next as the light changed. The paintings were all created on canvases identical in size, 81 x 92 cm (31 7/8 x 36 1/4 in), and with oil paints.
Monet wrote, “I love London. It is a mass, an ensemble, and it is so simple. Then, in London, what I love, above all, is the fog.”
The fog in London seems to have become the main theme for his London paintings series which included nearly 100 canvases. The fog transformed the river and the contours of the parliament buildings for Monet. In these paintings Monet focuses less attention on the details of the buildings and more effort on the contrasts and subtle transitions of hue.
He continued to work on the paintings when he returned to his studio at Giverny. It wasn’t until the exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in May 1904 that he exhibited several of the paintings that he had created while in London.