Station Saint-Lazare - Claude Oscar Monet. 54.3x73.6
Claude Monet (1840-1926) - an outstanding French painter, the main figure of impressionism.
Returning from London, where Monet was forced to leave after the tragic events of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, he settled near Paris, on the banks of the Seine. In January 1877, the artist returned to a small apartment and studio nearby Station in Saint-Lazare. Unexpectedly, the theme of several paintings was this industrial area. At the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition, which opened in Paris in April of that year, he presented seven works on the theme ... of a railway station.
It seemed that what could be common between impressionism and steam locomotives at the station? It turns out (Monet showed this miraculously), the most prosaic things can embody amazing poetry. Therefore, everything depends not on the image object, but on the subject writing it, not on what is selected for the image, but on who looks at it and how it embodies. It is noteworthy that almost at the same time, another great creator - J. Bizet - wrote the opera Carmen, the scene of which was ... a tobacco factory.
I must admit that the locomotives in these Monet paintings do not look like monsters, but, one might say, gracefully, although everyone at that time was captivated by the feeling of strength, power and speed of these gigantic machines. It is no coincidence that one of the earliest works - the painting by W. Turner “Rain, Steam and Speed” - was also inspired by this image and circle of thoughts. Nevertheless, both at the time of Turner and under Monet, society believed that this topic was far from art. After a century and a half, the viewer is probably more able to appreciate their artistic value than contemporaries of the master.