One of the series of Monet that is less famous is his series of bridges. These were actually several different bridges that he painted over and over again in different seasons, weathertypes and light.
This one is the railroad bridge of Argenteuil which he painted several times from different angles. These painting also show how life became more and more modern. The train was a symbol of industrialism. Transport had become quicker and people could and did travel further than they had before thanks to this novelty. If you look closely you even see that some of the “clouds” are actually steam from the locomotive :).
Another railroad bridge that he often painted was the Charing Cross Bridge in London.
Another bridge that he frequently painted was the Waterloo Bridge in London. These works he painted after he fled the Franco-Preussian War with his family from Argenteuil to London in 1880. Here he studied the work of JM Turner. Turner was a painter who really loved dramatic scenes. If he painted a painting with the sun it was bathing in the sun if it was a painting with a storm it really was a sweeping storm. He wasn’t very subtle he really went all out with his paintings. Just like Monet he liked to play around with colors and different weather types although he usually aimed to make it as dramtic as possible while Monet wanted to explore as much different possible versions of one and the same motif as possible even the foggy ones and the shadowy ones and the gray ones. Turner helped Monet to give his paintings a bit more Oompf.
Another bridge Monet often painted was the Waterloo Bridge.
I think that it is true that practice makes perfect. Not even other impressionists could paint bridges quite like Monet. Even a great artist like van Gogh couldn’t beat him at this game:
Monet’s most famous bridge is ofcourse the bridge with the waterlilies, but I will blog about that another time :).