Monet painted more than thirty views of Rouen Cathedral in 1892-93. When Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series, he had long since been impressed with the way light imparts to a subject a
distinctly different character at different times of the day and the year, and as atmospheric conditions change. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself.
This one - Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight - is an atmospheric piece, which was probably worked on alongside other canvases of different views of the historic building at the same time. The series of paintings provides an inspiring collection of works of the cathedral at different times of the day and also provides a record of the artist's experiences with light and atmosphere - a fascinating insight into what Monet was actually experiencing.
Monet later finished the works in his studio at Giverny, carefully adjusting the pictures both independently and in relation to each other. After creating a coherent ensemble, Monet selected twenty paintings that he considered "complete" and "perfect," including this one, for an exhibition at his Paris dealer's gallery in May 1895. Pissarro and Cézanne visited and praised the series, and patrons quickly purchased eight paintings from the group.