sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

Claude Monet: Railway Enthusiast

The Beauty of Transport

French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) is now world famous for his paintings, especially those of the water lilies in his pond at Giverny, in northern France. Visit any art museum shop, and most posh gift shops, and you’ll find the water lilies there somewhere; on cards, scarves, coasters, posters, key rings and who knows what else.

Water Lilies. Claude Monet (1919). In the public domain, via this WikiArt page Water Lilies. Claude Monet (1919). In the public domain, via this WikiArt page

The water lily paintings, however, came at the end of Monet’s long career. Before that, like many Impressionist painters (as we’ve seen here and here) he recorded various transport scenes as he came across them. But unlike other Impressionists, you get the distinct sense that Monet didn’t just paint transport because he came across it, but actively sought out transport scenes, especially those involving railways, to paint. Railways, in particular, intrigued him because steam locomotives allowed him to record the…

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