Saint lazare station
- Artist: Claude Monet
- Product Code: claude monet 441
Monet rarely turned his attention to the city, but in 1877 he decided to paint the station of Saint-Lazare, which both Manet and Caillebotte had chosen as a subject before him. The artist painted two views, and with these concluded the series of works devoted to city life to concentrate on the representation of landscapes. He was fascinated by the effects that steam created in this space with its linear structures, and captured the atmosphere with thick and bold brushstrokes, dissolving the architecture of the station and the buildings in the background into the smoke, steam and shafts of light. Monet's enthusiasm for stations is also reflected by the words he addressed to Auguste Renoir, and which son Jean Renoir quoted in the memoirs devoted to his father: "At the moment of departure the smoke of the locomotive is so dense that nothing can be seen. It is a marvel, real magic." The painter was not interested in depicting people in the midst of chaotic city life, and it should come as no surprise that one of the most favorable comments came from Emile Zola (Portrait of Emile Zola), who on the occasion of the presentation of seven of the twelve pictures he painted at the third Impressionist exhibition, in 1877, compared stations to the classical elements of the landscape painting and wrote: "This year Monet exhibited some superb station interiors. You can hear the rumbling of the trains as the station engulfs them. You can see the smoke billowing out beneath the vast hangars. Our artists have to find poetry in train stations, the way their fathers found poetry in forests and rivers." The painting was bought by Gustave Caillebotte in 1878.