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Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Le Train dans la neige. La locomotive

1875
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 59 cm ; l. 78 cm (sans cadre) ; H. 81 cm ; l. 102 cm ; E. 8 cm ; VOLUM. 0,0661 (avec cadre)
Signé et daté en bas à droite : Claude Monet 75.
inv. 4017
Don Eugène et Victorine Donop de Monchy (1940)
In 1871, Claude Monet and his family settled in Argenteuil on the outskirts of Paris. The garden of his property, the village and its surroundings inspired numerous paintings. These included a series of sixteen snow-covered landscapes during the winter of 1874–75. Among these predominantly rural scenes, The Train in the Snow. The Locomotive stands out for its modernity and heralds the views of the Saint-Lazare train station that he was to tackle shortly afterwards, in 1877. Subject matter aside, the Argenteuil picture also illustrates Monet’s talents as a colorist. The grayish browns of the train entering the station, the wooden fencing, and the trees bordering the platform contrast strongly with the finely nuanced shades of white depicting the ground. The treatment of the cloudy sky filled with the smoke rising from the locomotive constitutes an especially subtle study in tones. A bit of red on the front of the engine and two touches of yellow for the headlights both lighten and crown the composition. Prized by several connoisseurs of Impressionism, the painting entered the collection of one of Claude Monet’s first admirers, Doctor Georges de Bellio, in 1876, and eventually found its way to the Musée Marmottan Monet by way of his daughter.