Claude Monet - Waterloo Bridge, Overcast Weather 1904

Waterloo Bridge, Overcast Weather 1904
Waterloo Bridge, Overcast Weather
1904 65x100cm oil/canvas
The Hugh Lane, Dublin

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From The Hugh Lane, Dublin
As early as December 1880, Monet had thought about creating a group of paintings of the river Thames in London although he did not start the series until 1899. He spent three periods in London between September 1899 and March 1901. Over the next five years he was to produce ninety-five views of the river Thames in three major subject groups - Waterloo Bridge, Charing Cross Bridge and Houses of Parliament. He stayed at the Savoy Hotel and from the window in his room he could see Waterloo Bridge to his left and Charing Cross Bridge to his right. Monet painted forty-one versions of Waterloo Bridge, which linked the west end of the city to the more industrial south bank. In this painting, the early morning traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, is indicated by light touches of vibrant reds and pinks. The vertical smoking chimneys in the distance counterbalance the horizontality of the bridge. Monet's intention was to capture the essence of London with its extraordinary light effects and atmosphere created by the combination of mist and smoke, both industrial and domestic. To achieve this, he worked at great speed and had a vast number of canvases on the go at one time. Some of these were completed back in his studio at Giverny in France.