About this artwork
The Impressionists frequently paid tribute to the modern aspects of Paris. Their paintings abound with scenes of grand boulevards and elegant, new blocks of buildings, as well as achievements of modern construction such as iron bridges, exhibition halls, and train sheds. Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare was an especially appropriate choice of subject for Claude Monet in the 1870s. The terminal, linking Paris and Normandy, where Monet’s technique of painting outdoors had been nurtured in the 1860s, was also the point of departure for towns and villages to the west and north of Paris frequented by the Impressionists. Monet completed eight of his twelve known paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare in time for the third Impressionist exhibition, in 1877, probably placing them in the same gallery.
Monet chose to focus his attention here on the glass-and-iron train shed, where he found an appealing combination of artificial and natural effects: the rising steam of locomotives trapped within the structure, and daylight penetrating the large, glazed sections of the roof. Monet’s depictions of the station inaugurated what was to become for him an established pattern of painting a specific motif repeatedly in order to capture subtle and temporal atmospheric changes. But the series also represented his last attempt to deal with urban realities: from this point on in his career, Monet would be largely a painter of landscapes.
On loan to Musées royaux des beaux-arts de Belgique in Brussels for Tracks To Modernity
- Painting and Sculpture of Europe
- Claude Monet
- Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare
- Oil on canvas
- Inscribed, lower left: Claude Monet 77
- 60.3 × 80.2 cm (23 3/4 × 31 1/2 in.)
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection