Turner Whistler Monet Room 4

Room 4: Painting in Series
Tate Photography

On one wall of this room is a series of paintings of the Seine that Monet produced in the 1890s. They focus on light effects at different times of the morning, emphasising transient aspects of nature.

Modulated by the effects of mist and light, the reflections in the river blur the line between imagination and reality. These concerns are mirrored in the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, whom Monet had introduced to Whistler, realising that his views on art complemented theirs. Mallarmé offered to translate Whistler’s ‘Ten O’Clock’ lecture, and the three became close friends and supporters of each other’s work.

On the opposite wall is a group of watercolour studies which Turner painted in Switzerland, possibly during one or two painting sessions. Turner often produced watercolours in a kind of production line, applying a particular colour to several images one after the other, so that the paint on the first was dry when he came back to it with a new colour. Though they constitute a series in a different sense, they provided an important prototype for Monet’s work.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘The Bay of Uri on Lake Lucerne, from Brunnen’ c.1841–2
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Bay of Uri on Lake Lucerne, from Brunnen c.1841–2
Claude Monet Morning on the Seine near Giverny 1897

Claude Monet
Morning on the Seine near Giverny 1897
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York