Monet’s Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process

October 7, 2018–January 6, 2019

This small but powerful focus exhibition of Claude Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge” series will include the stellar example from MAG’s collection along with seven others borrowed from North American sister institutions. Monet painted over 40 versions of Waterloo Bridge during three London sojourns between 1899 and 1901. He saw these paintings both individually and as an ensemble that, collectively, expressed his sense of the essential subject—the atmosphere and colors of the fog-bound landscape of London’s Thames River. The exhibition Monet’s Waterloo Bridge offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience several versions of the series concurrently, creating a special dialogue that allows a rare glimpse at Monet’s artistic vision as well as the process by which he struggled to achieve that vision.

Close examination of the pigments and surface textures of the paintings, and extensive new imaging and materials analysis conducted on MAG’s Waterloo Bridge by scientists at the Art Conservation Program at Buffalo State University, shed light on Monet’s artistic process. Visitors will be able to explore Monet’s creative process through state-of-the-art interactive technology that makes the scientific imaging accessible, as well as through a documentary video created specifically for the exhibition. Monet’s Waterloo Bridge will be accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, published by RIT Press, with essays on Monet’s London series paintings; the artist, his dealer, and the marketing of the London series paintings; and the interpretation of recent imaging analysis. Contributors include Professor Grace Seiberling of the University of Rochester; Jennifer Thompson, curator of European art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and James Hamm, head of Paintings Conservation at Buffalo State University.

read the press release

Presented by M&T Bank and the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, with additional support from The McDonald Family, Riedman Foundation, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, and Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP. Funding is also provided by Dr. Dawn F. Lipson, Nancy G. Curme, and James and Geraldine Moore.

shown: Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, Veiled Sun (detail), 1903