Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960

Impressionists and Post Impressionists

Impressionists and Post Impressionistsfeatures artists who were attracted by the railroad not only as a means of getting to their favorite painting sites, but also as an archetypal feature of modern life. In his paintings of the Saint-Lazare station in Paris, Claude Monet evokes the bustle of arrivals and departures and uses the railroad station as a place to try out new effects of light and atmosphere. In his view of the Europe Bridge (On the Pont de l’Europe) near this station, Gustave Caillebotte uses the iron trellis as a metaphor for the crushing effect of an industrial environment, while Edouard Manet in The Railway (The Gare Saint-Lazare) enlists the background tracks approaching the station to suggest the railroad as a symbol of liberation and escape. Monet and his colleague Camille Pissarro also examined the effects of the railroad on the countryside or suburbia.

Édouard Manet, French, 1832 - 1883
The Railway (The Gare Saint-Lazare), 1873

Claude Monet, French, 1840 - 1926
Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877

Gustave Caillebotte, French, 1848 - 1894
On the Pont de l'Europe, 1876-1877

Claude Monet, French, 1840 - 1926
Gare d'Argenteuil, 1872

Claude Monet, French, 1840 - 1926
Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874

Camille Pissarro, French, 1830 - 1903
Level Crossing at Les Pâtis, near Pontoise, 1873-1874

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