Claude Monet

Claude Monet
La cathédrale de Rouen: Le portail (Effet du matin), 1894
Nymphéas, 1916–1919
Le bassin aux nymphéas, around 1917–1920
Le pont japonais, around 1918–1924
La cathédrale de Rouen: Le portail (Effet du matin), 1894
Add to favorites 

Currently exhibited at Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Claude Monet
La cathédrale de Rouen: Le portail (Effet du matin), 1894

Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Morning)
Oil on canvas, 107 x 74 cm
Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel

In 1892 and 1893, Monet produced twenty-eight paintings of the west façade of Rouen Cathedral. However much his painting seems to dissolve the building into pure atmosphere, these works mark a step beyond Impressionism. For they were not completed one by one in front of the subject, but in sequence in his Giverny studio, where Monet synthesized the many variations of the cathedral into a single comprehensive vision of light and colour. In Paris in 1895, he exhibited twenty of his cathedral paintings – including Le portail (Effet du matin) – as a series. The concept of the series has maintained its relevance in art to this day. Yet Monet’s idea of showing the edifice in Rouen as an immense and sublime apparition unable to be contained within the painting also influenced the Abstract Expressionists. Even before the rediscovery of Monet’s Water Lilies in the early 1950s, Clyfford Still saw in the cathedral series the idea of an over-sized structure extending far beyond the confines of the canvas. Here, of course, Monet had not yet progressed into abstraction. He is playing with the tension between the flat layer of paint and the image it generates of a vast building projecting into the depths of the space.

Order poster in the shop

Nymphéas, 1916–1919
Add to favorites 

Currently not on show

Claude Monet
Nymphéas, 1916–1919

Water Lilies
Oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm
Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel

Le bassin aux nymphéas, around 1917–1920
Add to favorites 

Currently not on show

Claude Monet
Le bassin aux nymphéas, around 1917–1920

The Water-lily Pond
Oil on canvas, triptych, each panel 200.5 x 301 cm
Photo: Christian Baur, Basel

Le pont japonais, around 1918–1924
Add to favorites 

Currently exhibited at Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Claude Monet
Le pont japonais, around 1918–1924

The Japanese Bridge
Oil on canvas, 89 x 115.5 cm
Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel

Claude Monet

1840, Paris – 1926, Giverny

The French painter trained amongst others with the plein air painter Eugène Boudin, continuing his studies from 1859 onwards in Paris, where he met Pissarro, Bazille, Sisley and Renoir. At the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874, Monet’s painting Impression, soleil levant prompted critics to mockingly describe him as an ‘impressionist’. He thus co-founded and gave the name to one of the most important art movements of the 20th century. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1871 he fled to London, where he was very impressed by the work of Turner and Constable. Shortly after this he was taken up by the art dealer Durand-Ruel. Following his move to Giverny, Monet devoted himself obsessively to creating series of paintings that explored the dependency of form and colour upon lighting and air conditions at different times of day. The garden was his main inspiration, with the water lily pond becoming the principal motif of his paintings from 1899 onwards. Certain elements of his last works can be seen to anticipate Expressionism.

Station