A romantic walk along the River Thames following the footsteps of the famous painter
Old Billingsgate Market (by N Chadwick, CC BY-SA 2.0 Wikimedia Commons)
After he departed from London, Monet lived a dark glooming period of his life when his wife became ill, severely challenging the artist’s mental stability. On September 5, 1879, his wife Camille passed away; she was but thirty-two years old.
For Monet, it was a terrible blow, for his lifelong companion had died, someone he loved immensely and with whom he had always shared joys and sorrows.
The beginning of the new century, the twentieth century, saw Monet in London again, the city where his son Michel lived.
But beyond family affection, this town was particularly to his liking because of the caliginous fog that suffused its streets and monuments.
It must be remembered that during Monet’s visits, London was the world’s largest city between 1831 and 1925. The town’s overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics. However, this tremendous overcrowding and congestion led to a period of significant development, resulting in the creation of the first urban rail network.
One must therefore imagine a city in turmoil, characterised by industrialisation and bustling traffic.
Today, the smokestacks and large industrial warehouses are gone, but as a memory of those times, still, lie some of the industrial buildings of that time.
Monet visited there three times, in 1899, 1900 and 1901.
During these periods, his works distinguish by his portrayal of his immediate perception of his subjects, especially concerning landscape painting. In particular, he is considered a specialist in the style of painting that is identified with the French term “en plein air,” which is a painting method consisting of portraying the outdoors to capture the subtle nuances that light generates in each detail.