The Port of London - by Claude Monet

In the fall of 1870, Monet traveled to London and this painting is one of a series of works he created while based in the British capital. This view is of the Thames and the Houses of Parliament as seen from Victoria Quay, Like many of Monet's other works, it has a photographic quality to it despite its Impressionist style, Again, Monet uses a fragmented brushstroke to create his magical movement in the river. He also, once again, alludes to the fog and smog that gripped London in the later part of the 19m century, The composition is made up of gray tones, with a pink hue that appears on the horizon.

London was increasingly becoming a shelter for French artists, fleeing from the turmoil at home. Both Monet and Pissarro - to escape the Franco-Prussian War - were intrigued and interested in the city, although their works would prove extremely different in terms of subjects. Pissarro chose the suburbs, while Monet chose the more conventional themes of the Houses of Parliament. There Monet was introduced to the dealer Paul Durand Ruel, who would become one of his greatest supporters, Durand Ruel was a great advocate of the Impressionists and tirelessly defended their artistic endeavors against mainstream opinion. While in London Monet visited the city's museums, and the collection of Joseph Mallord William Turner's (1775-1851) paintings at the National Gallery and the works of John Constable (1776-1837) had a profound effect on him.