Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect (Le Parlement, effet de soleil)
On View: Beaux-Arts Court, South, 3rd Floor
At the turn of the twentieth century, Monet embarked on trips to London and Venice, where his mature Impressionist style expanded to embrace new cityscapes. His paintings of the Houses of Parliament in London and the Doge’s Palace in Venice elaborated upon the interest in atmospheric effects that shaped his artistic vision. Here, Monet mutes the architectural details of these two iconic buildings, focusing instead on rendering cascading sunlight and shimmering water in loose, overlapping strokes of color.
His activity in these two cultural capitals also testifies to Monet’s interest in the built environment. But although these works coincide with the boom in local tourism aided by railways and guidebooks, he curiously overlooks that aspect of these urban sites, largely omitting any indication of human presence.
Stationing himself on the balcony of Saint Thomas’ Hospital, across the river from his subject, Monet painted nineteen versions of the Houses of Parliament in changing weather and light conditions. He captured the Doge’s Palace in Venice in three canvases from his seat in a gondola across the Grand Canal.
Oil on canvas
32 x 36 1/4 in. (81.3 x 92.1 cm)
Frame: 41 1/4 x 45 1/2 x 3 3/8 in. (104.8 x 115.6 x 8.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower left: "Claude Monet 1903"
Bequest of Grace Underwood Barton
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