Waterloo Bridge: the Sun in a Fog, 1903
oil on canvas
73.7 x 100.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 817)
© Estate of Claude Monet / ADAGP (Paris) / SODRAC (Montréal)
Monet began this painting on one of the three trips to he made to London between 1899 and 1901. After his return to Giverny, Monet revisited the canvas over an extended
period. Recent x-radiography revealed that the initial painting included towers and belching smokestacks on the far bank – landmarks that appear in other views of this subject. Ultimately he dissolved the original industrial landscape, focusing instead on light and the “ghostly magnificence of London, ” now captured through memory and imagination. Not all traces of urban life have been erased, however – morning traffic bustles atop the bridge while two scullers in the foreground float along the undulating water in the fog-cloaked glow of the sun.