Seinebrücke von Argenteuil

Neue Pinakothek


Monet depicted the newly built bridge across the Seine, erected near Argenteuil in 1872 after the Franco-German War. He chose the visual angle upstream; behind the bridge, the riverside and the hills of Orgemont may be recognised. The war of 1870 had driven Monet and his family from Paris to London. When he returned to France via Holland, he took an apartment in Argenteuil. On the calmer secondary waterways of the Seine and on smaller river courses, Monet worked for the first time aboard an atelier boat. At this point, he created almost exclusively landscapes that he painted repeatedly under the most diverse conditions of weather and light directly from nature. One year previously, Monet for the first time had chosen modern buildings as the topic of a painting in his famous and name giving work “Impression, soleil levant”. While in this case, the cranes in the harbour of Le Havre became the pictorial motif, here in Argenteuil it is the impressive iron construction of the bridge across the entire width of the river. Monet wrote in January 1872 from Le Havre to Pissaro that the spontaneous reproduction of the current atmosphere of light and colour in his surroundings were not easy to achieve: “Je travaille, mais quand on a cessé la Marine, c’est le diable après - très difficile; cela change à tout instant et ici le temps varie plusieurs fois dans la même journée.” In English: "I am working, but when one has finished the marina, it is diabolical afterwards – really hard; it keeps changing, and the weather here changes several times in a day."

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