Gare Saint-Lazare (Monet series)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
After working on rural landscapes, Claude Monet returned to Paris in 1877 and made a dozen oil paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare railway station in Paris. This was Monet's first series of paintings concentrating on a single theme.
The Impressionist paintings capture the smoky interior of this Paris railway station, in varied atmospheric conditions and from various points of view. The works were in part a response to the criticism of his painting Impression, Sunrise, which was exhibited at the First Impressionist Exhibition in April 1874, and also fashionable depictions of technical progress: the modern steam train and the newly extended iron and glass train shed at the station constructed by engineer Eugène Flachat.
Eight of the paintings were exhibited at the Third Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in April 1877, where they were admired by Émile Zola, who later wrote his 1890 novel La Bête humaine about the railways.
Examples of the works are held by many public collections.
- Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway
- Saint-Lazare Station by Claude Monet (Fogg Museum)