Claude Monet (1840 - 1926): The Gare Saint-Lazare, Arriving

Claude Monet (1840 - 1926): The Gare Saint-Lazare, Arriving

3/11/2021, 5:48:41 PM
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926): The Gare Saint-Lazare, Arriving a Train, 1877, Oil on canvas, 83 x 101.3 cm, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge At the beginning of 1877, Monet moved near to the Gare Saint-Lazare, of which he was subsequently to paint twelve different views. This was the first experiment that the artist had made with the technique of serial repetition of a motif, a way of working that was to become typical of him from the late 1880s onward. The newly constructed railway stations seemed to be an embodiment of the idea of modern, mobile, progressive living, a theme which the Impressionists had adopted in their works. Monet captured the façade and the surroundings of the station, as well as the concourse with trains arriving at the platforms. However, he only made preliminary drawings from life. The oil paintings themselves were executed in the studio. 'The Gare Saint-Lazare, Arriving a Train' is the largest in the series. While completing the series, Monet worked on all the paintings at the same time, and sometimes he leaned the stretched canvases against each other while the paint was still wet. This caused the cork spacers on the backs of the stretchers to be pressed into the adjacent paintings, creating circular indentations in the surface that are visible along the top edge of this work. Monet’s thick build-up of pigments here is a virtuosic example of his approach to painting during this period, when he juxtaposed multitudinous hues in mounds of impasto that would blend into a coherent whole only when viewed from a distance. This technique reportedly led Cézanne to declare, “Monet is only an eye, but my God what an eye!”

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