MONET, Claude
(b. 1840, Paris, d. 1926, Giverny)

Gare Saint-Lazare

Oil on canvas, 76 x 104 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

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.

By contrast with the usual interior views of the Gare Saint-Lazare, the present painting shows the gigantic iron and glass construction of the roof, with its apex placed symmetrically at the top of the picture on the vertical axis.