Claude Monet, the renowned French Impressionist painter created his series of paintings, The Thames at Westminster while he was in London during the Franco-Prussian War. One piece of this series, The Thames Below Westminster painted in 1871 depicts the Houses of Parliament from Victoria Quay as seen from his viewpoint from a window or terrace at St Thomas’ Hospital overlooking the river.
The misty composition of this piece is anchored by carefully positioned horizontal and diagonal lines that are characteristic of Monet’s Impressionism style. This painting shows the River Thames with its translucent water and soft reflections, and vividly captures the atmosphere of London’s cold weather. All through this series, Monet created a feeling of unpredictable weather conditions such as rainy days, mist-covered scenes and bright sunny days to express his personal view on atmospheric effects.
Today, The Thames Below Westminster is part of The National Gallery in London’s permanent collection which holds works representing different styles and periods throughout art history. It has become one of Monet’s most admired paintings depicting amazing artistic techniques that remain relevant years later for art enthusiasts all over the world to appreciate.