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Claude Monet painted a series of oil paintings of the Palace of Westminster, home of the British Parliament, in the fall of 1899 and the early months of 1900 and 1901 during stays in London. All of the series' paintings share the same viewpoint from Monet's window or a terrace at St Thomas' Hospital overlooking the Thames and the approximate canvas size of 81 cm × 92 cm (32 in × 36 3/8 in). They are, however, painted during different times of the day and weather conditions.
By the time of the Houses of Parliament series, Monet had abandoned his earlier practice of completing a painting on the spot in front of the motif. He carried on refining the images back in France and sent to London for photographs to help in this. This caused some adverse reaction, but Monet's reply was that his means of creating a work was his own business and it was up to the viewer to judge the final result.
Some of the 19 known paintings in the Houses of Parliament series:
Houses of Parliament, London, 1900–1901 The Art Institute of Chicago
Le Parlement, Effet de Brouillard, 1903, Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Houses of Parliament in the Fog, 1903, High Museum of Art
The Houses of Parliament, Seagulls, 1903, Princeton University Art Museum
Houses of Parliament Sunlight Effect (Le Parlement effet de soleil), 1903, Brooklyn Museum
The Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog), 1903–1904, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Houses of Parliament, London, ca. 1904, Kunsthaus Zürich
Seagulls, the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament, 1904, Pushkin Museum
Houses of Parliament, London, Musée Marmottan Monet, 1905
Modern view of the Houses of Parliament at dusk in an approximately identical angle. The paintings were framed to exclusively depict the leftmost half of the building, with Victoria Tower as the focal point.
In 2018, the Tate Britain in London exhibited six paintings of the series, together in a single room, for the duration of a temporary exhibition titled Impressionists in London, French artists in exile (1870–1904), devoted to the temporary exile of French and impressionist artists in London during the Franco-Prussian War. This was a rare occurrence because no museum owns or exhibits more than two in a permanent collection.
The six paintings were the examples from the following collections:
Again in 2018, the National Gallery in London exhibited three paintings of the series, together in a single room, for the duration of a temporary exhibition titled Monet & Architecture, devoted to Claude Monet's use of architecture as a means to structure and enliven his art. This was a rare occurrence because no museum owns or exhibits more than two in a permanent collection.
The three paintings exhibited were the examples from the following collections:
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