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The Engine or the Train under Snow. Claude Monet. (1875).

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The Engine or the Train under Snow. Claude Monet. (1875).

For an artist who, like Monet, seeks the atmospheric effects, the Saint-Lazare station is a paradise. The fog, the atmosphere in charge of one day of winter, snow, the smoke of the trains enable him to represent all the variations of the light. And still it’s here about the one moment impression. Monet says itself that one would need 100 pictures for each impression of each moment because the variations are infinite. To the 3rd impressionist exposure Monet in April 1877 presents 7 versions of the Saint-Lazare Station. On the whole the series includes 12 paintings. It is the first of the great series of Monet before the Grinding stones and the Nymphea. 

The horizon is located on the low part of the painting, the point of view of the spectator is right in top. This makes it possible to involve enough the eye of the spectator far and supports the prospect.

On the natural points of interest on the left are the engine and the plume of smoke. The natural point of interest lower right is used for the prospect and the depth of field. 

A little more of the third pictorial space for the ground, a little less of the 2 thirds for the sky.

The picture is built on the large ascending diagonal. The smoke of the train, the trees, the creepage distances go up towards the sky or the horizon to far. 

Details : 

Located far in the prolongation of the train this light is either the setting sun, or a fire of railway. The gleam attracts the glance at the fine bottom of the picture a little like a recall of the light of fires before engine. 

Each change of tone of the colors of smoke finely is observed and reproduced. Isolated this part of the painting would be abstract. As it is the case in the Nymphea. 

One distinguishes from the buildings on the left and one guesses in the fog of large chimneys.

Light : The lights are at before and at the back of the train. The zone of right-hand side is most luminous because the whiteness of snow reflects the weak gleam of the sun. 

Colors : A symphony of gray and the blue ones perforated by the red eyes oranges of the machine. Contrast between complementary colors.

Similar paintings :

Claude Monet. The Saint-Lazare Station. (1877).

Claude Monet. Gare Saint-Lazare, Le Quai Ouest. (1877). 

Claude Monet. The Saint-Lazare Station. (1877).