Turner - Whistler - Monet

Claude Monet 
 Londres, le Parlement. Trouée de soleil dans le brouillard [London, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog]
 Oil on canvas
 H. 81; W. 92 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay, bequest of Count Isaac de Camondo, 1911
Claude MonetLondon, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
The connection between these three artists can be traced back to 1871 in London. Claude Monet (1840-1926) took refuge in the British capital during this "terrible year". There he discovered the work of Turner (1775-1851), in particular the Turner Bequest exhibited at that time, as well as the first Nocturnes by Whistler (1834-1903) who himself had very early on been seduced by the English master's landscapes. Monet might also have been acquainted with Whistler's engravings of the river Thames published the same year.

Turner's artistic singularity nourished the artist's outlook on Whistlerian compositions, which is not unrelated to the elaboration of the new pictorial movement of impressionism.

The first Monet pieces inspired in 1871 by the river Thames, his "effects of fog on the Thames" and his first paintings of the Houses of Parliament, will be confronted to his later work from the famous series of "Views of the Thames", including the Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges. Further comparison of these variations by Monet with Whistler's engravings, or with Turner's paintings and watercolours, from London to the ultimate sojourn in Venice, is very revealing.

To this three-voiced "dialogue" full of poetry, constituted of moving and elegiac pieces, is added those of Ruskin and Mallarmé, abounding in perfect harmony. For after realism, followed by the invention of impressionism, appeared the new trend of symbolism, "painting of souls, painting of ideas".

Scientific committee

Katharine Lochnan, Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Sylvie Patin, Chief Curator, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Alison Smith, Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London
Ian Warrell, Curator of British Art at the Tate Gallery, London
John House, Professor of Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Exhibition also presented at
the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto from June 12 to September 5, 2004
the Tate Gallery (Tate Britain), London, from February 12 to May 15, 2005

This exhibition takes place as part of the Entente Cordiale centenary celebrations.

It is organised in Paris with the support of ABN-AMRO.


Exhibition catalogue
Tate Publishing, in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario
€ 39

13 October 2004 - 17 January 2005

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais

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