Monet spent most of the 1870s in the town of Argenteuil, which is on the Seine just to the north-west of Paris. During this period, leisure activities such as boating made the town increasingly popular with day-trippers from the capital. The exceptionally snowy winter of 1874-5 inspired Monet to paint 18 views of Argenteuil under the snow. Many of them, like this work, focus on the boulevard Saint-Denis where Monet was living.
The scene shows the boulevard running towards the Seine, looking away from the railway station. It is a relatively large work, which sacrifices details in favour of atmosphere. Its predominantly monochrome palette of blues and greys conveys to perfection the bleakness of an overcast winter's afternoon.
From The National Gallery Podcast: Episode Twenty Seven, January 2009