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Claude Monet, The Gare St-Lazare

Key facts
Full title The Gare St-Lazare
Artist Claude Monet
Artist dates 1840 - 1926
Date made 1877
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 54.3 × 73.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1982
Inventory number NG6479
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Gare St-Lazare
Claude Monet

This painting is one of a dozen views of the Gare Saint-Lazare that Monet painted in early 1877. He had known the station since his childhood, and it was also the terminal for trains to many of the key Impressionist sites west of Paris.

One of the less finished paintings of the group, it is the most freely painted of the four pictures Monet made within the station itself. He positioned himself at the terminus of one of the main lines, looking across the platforms. In the foreground two locomotives are swathed in steam and surrounded by passengers probably waiting to board.

The dark angular lines of the roof’s girders contrast with the random patterns formed by the vapour and smoke. By including the closed roof at the top of the picture, Monet has turned the conventions of landscape upside down – the light and clouds associated with an open sky are contained inside a distinctly modern structure made of glass and iron.

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