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The Thames below Westminster

Claude Monetabout 1871

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London

This is one of the works produced by Monet when, like Pissarro and Daubigny, he moved to London during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1). Pissarro worked mainly in south London, while Monet painted the parks of central London and the River Thames. Here he shows the misty atmosphere of the capital on a spring day, with the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge in the background. They are contrasted with the jetty in the foreground casting broken shadows on the river, and the new foliage of the trees on the Embankment to the right.

Daubigny's 1873 painting, 'St Paul's from the Surrey Side', conveys a similar impression of the Thames, but puts more emphasis on the industrial nature of the river.

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Details

  • Title: The Thames below Westminster
  • Creator: Claude Monet
  • Date Created: about 1871
  • Physical Dimensions: 47 x 73 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: French
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG6399
  • Artist Biography: Born in Paris, the son of a grocer, Monet grew up in Le Havre. Contact with Eugène Boudin in about 1856 introduced Monet to painting from nature. He was in Paris in 1859 and three years later he entered the studio of Charles Gleyre, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. Edouard Manet was an influence on his figure compositions of the 1860s, while the informal style of his later landscapes originated in works such as 'Bathers at La Grenouillère', painted in 1869 when Monet worked with Renoir at Bougival. Monet was the leading French Impressionist landscape painter. Like Camille Pissarro and Charles-François Daubigny, Monet moved to London during the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1). After his return to France he lived at Argenteuil (1871-8). He exhibited in most of the Impressionist exhibitions, beginning in 1874, where the title of one of his paintings led to the naming of the movement. A period of travel followed in the 1880s, and in 1883 he acquired a property at Giverny, north-west of Paris. Thereafter Monet concentrated on the production of the famous series showing a single subject in different lighting conditions, including poplars, haystacks, Rouen Cathedral, and his own garden at Giverny.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bequeathed by Lord Astor of Hever, 1971

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