MONET Claude (1840-1926)
Le pont de l'Europe. Gare Saint-Lazare.
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 65 cm ; l. 81 cm (Sans cadre) ; H. 84 cm ; l. 99,5 cm ; P. 8 cm (Avec cadre)
Signé et daté en bas à gauche : Claude Monet 77.
don Donop de Monchy Eugène et Victorine (donateurs) (23/05/1940 acquis)
Over the course of the 19th century, Paris set about building seven train stations to foster the development of railways in France. In western Paris, the Gare Saint-Lazare, serving the Normandy coast, was enlarged between 1841 and 1852. These new buildings, which were in part the result of metal-based architecture and the locomotives they housed, soon became the supreme symbol of modernity. In 1877, Monet devoted a series of paintings to them. The one conserved at the Marmottan Monet depicts the neighborhood around the Gare Saint-Lazare, specifically the buildings along Rue de Rome and the Pont de l’Europe, an overpass built in 1863 that is no longer standing today. Monet placed his easel at the level of the railway tracks and below the overpass. The diagonal formed by the overpass both structures the composition and confers a prominent place in this cityscape on the building that gives the painting its name. The engine, the railwayman, and the signal are reduced to mere details. To recreate the atmosphere of the site, Monet describes the elusive ballet of the plumes of vapor and smoke in the sky issuing from the steam engines.