About the Artist
Claude Monet (1840-1926) went to Paris in 1862 to study painting and there befriended fellow students Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille, who would later form the core group of the original impressionists. By the end of the 1860s Monet had largely abandoned ambitious, large-scale figurative painting in favor of smaller, spontaneous landscape works executed en plein air.
Monet fled to London during the Franco-Prussian War, and in late 1871 settled at Argenteuil, a suburb just west of Paris that maintained its rustic charm even as it underwent rapid modernization. From 1872 to 1876 Argenteuil became the hub of what would soon be known as impressionist painting. Financial difficulties forced Monet to relocate to Vétheuil in 1878, and a few years later, in 1883, he settled in Giverny, where he would live for the rest of his life.
Most of Monet’s paintings from the 1870s depict the landscape in and around the small towns along the Seine. Executed outdoors, he employed seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes to capture the ever-changing effects of light and atmosphere. In the 1880s Monet expanded his motifs, turning his attention both to the Mediterranean and to the rugged vistas along the Normandy coast. In the 1890s he undertook a number of paintings produced in series, including pictures of poplars, grainstacks, and Rouen Cathedral; each work captured a specific atmospheric effect and time of day. With his reputation as France’s leading landscape painter established and his financial situation secure, the artist turned his attention to the lavish gardens he had constructed at Giverny, eventually creating more than 250 works focused on water lilies.
This print of Claude Monet's The Houses of Parliament, Sunset (1903) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
Monet and his family lived in England briefly, seeking refuge there during the Franco-Prussian war (1870–1871), and returned in the late 1880s, staying with his artist friends James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent, expatriate Americans who acted as his guides and translators. He also spent time studying the Thames River.
Between 1899 and 1901, Monet made three trips to London specifically to paint. He went in winter, when the city was clouded with fog and the smoke of coal fires. "Without fog," Monet said, "London would not be a beautiful city. It is the fog that gives it its magnificent breadth." From his rooms on the sixth floor of the Savoy Hotel, Monet's view up and down the Thames provided him subject matter for several series pictures. He could see Waterloo Bridge, Charing Cross Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament. In all he completed more than one hundred Thames paintings. Most, like this one, render the city's famous landmarks as darkened silhouettes cloaked in the misty sky. He worked at prescribed times of day to capture this backlit effect, often complaining about the rapidity with which conditions changed.
- 7.19 x 8.19 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks