About This Artwork

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, 1903

Oil on canvas
65.7 x 101 cm (25 7/8 x 39 3/4 in.)
Inscribed lower right: Claude Monet 1903

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1163

Wildenstein, Claude Monet, cat rais. 1996 1586; Wildenstein, Claude Monet, biographie et catalogue raisonné, 1979 1586

This work is featured in the online catalogue Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, the first volume in the Art Institute’s scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. The catalogue offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on 47 artworks by Claude Monet in museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.



If not for the fog, Claude Monet once remarked, “London wouldn’t be a beautiful city. It’s the fog that gives it its magnificent breadth.” While working on his London series, he rose early every day to paint Waterloo Bridge in the morning, moving on to Charing Cross Bridge at midday and in the afternoon. He observed both motifs from his fifth-floor window at the Savoy Hotel. The Art Institute’s two Waterloo Bridge paintings are dated 1900 and 1903, but both were likely begun in 1900 and dated only when Monet felt that they were finished. He worked on all of his London paintings in his studio in Giverny, refusing to send any of them to his dealer until he was satisfied with them as an ensemble.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Claude Monet: Vues de la Tamise à Londres, May 9–June 4, 1904, cat. 18, as Effet de Soleil. 1903, under the heading Waterloo Bridge.

Boston, Copley Society, Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet and Eleven Sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Mar. 1905, cat. 49, as La Tamise à Londres. Effet de Soleil. (Waterloo Bridge.) 1903. Lent by W. A. Putnam, Esq.

Chicago, Stratford Hotel, Tableaux Durand-Ruel, late Jan.–early Feb. 1914, no cat. no.

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University, Fine Arts Department, French Painting of the 19th-Century, Nov. 15–Dec. 5, 1942, no cat.

Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Art Museum, 19th Century French Paintings from the Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago (circuit exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts), June 1–June 22, 1948, no cat.; Springfield (Mo.) Art Museum, Sept. 9–30, 1948, no cat.; Probably Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Vassar College Art Gallery, Oct. 15–Nov. 5, 1948; Probably Manchester, N.H., Currier Gallery of Art, Nov. 16–Dec. 7, 1948; Saginaw (Mich.) Museum, [as Exhibition of Nineteenth Century French Painting, Dec. 19, 1948–Jan. 9, 1949, cat. 20; Probably Omaha, Neb., Joslyn Memorial Art Museum, Jan. 23–Feb. 15, 1949; Probably Memphis, Tenn., Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Mar. 1–22, 1949, no cat.; Utica, N.Y., Munson–Williams-Proctor Institute, Apr. 3–24, 1949, no cat.

Art Institute of Chicago, The Paintings of Claude Monet, Apr. 1–June 15, 1957, no cat. no.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Civic Center, Nov. 1959, no cat.

London, Hayward Gallery, The Impressionists in London, Jan. 3–Mar. 11, 1973, cat. 19 (ill.).

New York, David T. Schiff, Feb. 3–May 30, 1975, no cat.

Shelburne (Vt.) Museum, Apr. 19–Nov. 3, 1995, no cat.

Florence, Sala Bianca di Palazzo Pitti, Claude Monet: La poesia della luce; Sette capolavori dell’Art Institute di Chicago a Palazzo Pitti, June 2–Aug. 29, 1999, no cat. no. (ill.).

Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Turner; Whistler; Monet, June 12–Sept. 12, 2004, cat. 75 (ill.); Paris, Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Oct. 12, 2004–Jan. 17, 2005; London, Tate Britain, Feb. 10–May 15, 2005.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Art Museum, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–Nov. 2, 2008, cat. 87 (ill.).

Publication History

Galeries Durand-Ruel, Claude Monet: Vues de la Tamise à Londres, exh. cat. (Galeries Durand-Ruel, 1904), p. 10, cat. 18.

Gustave Kahn, “L’exposition Claude Monet,” Gazette des beaux-arts 32 (July 1904), p. 87, n. 3.

Copley Society, Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet and Eleven Sculptures by August Rodin, exh. cat. (Copley Society, 1905), p. 20, cat. 49.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1925), p. 162, cat. 2148.

M. C., “Monets in the Art Institute,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 19, 2 (Feb. 1925), p. 21.

Daniel Catton Rich, “Französische Impressionisten im Art Institute zu Chicago,” Pantheon: (Mar. 1933), p. 77. Translated by C. C. H. Drechsel as “French Impressionists in the Art Institute of Chicago,”Pantheon/Cicerone (Mar. 1933), p. 18.

Oscar Reuterswärd, Monet: En konstnärshistorik (Bonniers, 1948), p. 287.

Saginaw Museum, Exhibition of Nineteenth Century French Painting at The Saginaw Museum, exh. cat. (Saginaw Museum, 1949), p. 9, cat. 20.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Catalogue,” Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 51, 2 (Apr. 1, 1957), p. 34.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Chronology,” Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 51, 2 (Apr. 1, 1957), p. 31 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 322.

A. James Speyer, “Twentieth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture,” Apollo 84, 55 (Sept. 1966), p. 222.

Denis Rouart, “Apparences et reflets,” in Denis Rouart and Jean-Dominique Rey Monet, nymphéas, ou Les miroirs du temps, with a cat. rais. by Robert Maillard (Hazan, 1972), p. 34 (ill.).

Anthea Callen, The Impressionists in London, exh. cat. (Arts Council of Great Britain, 1973), p. 45, cat. 19 (ill.).

A. James Speyer and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth-Century European Paintings (University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 59, cat. 3B1; microfiche 3, no. 3B1 (ill.).

Grace Seiberling, Monet’s Series (Garland, 1981), p. 373, no. 28.

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, vol. 4, Peintures, 1899–1926 (Bibliothèque des Arts, 1985), pp. 180; 181, cat. 1586 (ill.); 365, letters 1723 and 1724; 429, pièce justificative 220.

Richard R. Brettell, Post-Impressionists (Art Institute of Chicago/Abrams, 1987), pp. 90 (detail); 91; 95 (ill.); 118.

Andrew Forge, Monet, Artists in Focus (Art Institute of Chicago, 1995), pp. 56; 57; 101, pl. 30; 109.

Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 694–95, cat. 1586 (ill.).

Simonella Condemi and Andrew Forge, Claude Monet: La poesia della luce; Sette capolavori dell’Art Institute di Chicago a Palazzo Pitti, exh. cat. (Giunti Gruppo, 1999), pp. 44–45 (ill.), 46–47 (detail).

Karin Sagner-Düchting, “Monet’s Late Work from the Vantage Point of Modernism,” in Monet and Modernism, ed. Karin Sagner-Düchting, exh. cat. (Prestel, 2001), p. 25.

Karin Sagner-Düchting, “The London Paintings,” in Monet and Modernism, ed. Karin Sagner-Düchting, exh. cat. (Prestel, 2001), pp. 58, 63 (ill.).

John House, “Tinted Steam: Turner and Impressionism,” in Turner; Whistler; Monet: Impressionist Visions, ed. Katharine Lochnan, exh. cat. (Art Gallery of Ontario/Tate Publishing, 2004), p. 47.

Sylvie Patin, “The Return of Whistler and Monet to the Thames” in Turner; Whistler; Monet: Impressionist Visions, ed. Katharine Lochnan, exh. cat. (Art Gallery of Ontario/Tate Publishing, 2004), pp. 192, no. 75; 194, no. 75 (ill.).

John E. Thornes and Gemma Metherell, “The Art and Science of London’s Atmosphere around 1900,” in London’s Environment: Prospects for a Sustainable City, ed. Julian Hunt (Imperial College Press, 2005), p. 119.

Barry Venning, “Turner, Monet e l’impressionismo,” in Turner e gli impressionisti: La grande storia del paesaggio moderno in Europa, ed. Marco Goldin, exh. cat. (Linea d’Ombra, 2006), p. 78 (ill.).

Gloria Groom and Douglas Druick, with the assistance of Dorota Chudzicka and Jill Shaw, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago/Kimbell Art Museum, 2008), pp. 153 (detail); 168; 169, cat. 87 (ill.). Simultaneously published as Gloria Groom and Douglas Druick, with the assistance of Dorota Chudzicka and Jill Shaw, The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 153 (detail); 168; 169, cat. 87 (ill.).

Katharine Lochnan, “Whistler and Monet: Impressionism and Britain,” in James McNeill Whistler in Context: Essays from the Whistler Centenary Symposium University of Glasgow, 2003, ed. Lee Glazer, Margaret F. MacDonald, Linda Merrill, and Nigel Thorp, Freer Gallery of Art Occasional Papers, n.s. 2 (Smithsonian Institution, 2008), pp. 63; 109, pl. 9 (detail).

“Cat. 39: Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, 1903” in Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).

Ownership History

Sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris, May 11, 1904, for 9,000 francs. [1]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York, Dec. 14, 1904 or Jan. 6, 1905. [2]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to W. A. Putnam, Jan. 10, 1905, for $4,000. [3]

Sold by W. A. Putnamto Durand-Ruel, New York, May 22, 1913, for 25,000 francs. [4]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Martin A. Ryerson, Chicago, Feb. 10, 1914, for $7,500. [5]

Bequeathed by Martin A. Ryerson (died 1932), Chicago, to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1933.

NOTES

[1] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock book for 1901–13 (no. 7641, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903): “Purchased from Monet by DR Paris on 11 May 1904 for 9 000 F/ Stock DR Paris no. 7641; photo Druet [sic] no. 21 / (No. 18 of the exhibition),” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 21, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.

[2] The Paris and New York Durand-Ruel stock books record different dates for the sale. The Paris stock book for 1901–1913 (no. 7641, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903) states: “Sold to DR New York on 14 December 1904.” The New York stock book for 1904–1924 (no. 2965, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903) states: “Purchased by DR New York on 6 January 1905,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 21, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago.

[3] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, New York, stock book for 1904–24 (no. 2965, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903): “sold to W.A. Putnam on 10 January 1905 for $ 4 000,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 21, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 694–95, cat. 1586 (ill.), this sale was to A. M. Putnam.

[4] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, New York, stock book for 1904–24 (no. 3646, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903): “Purchased from W. A. Putnam by DR New York on 22 May 1913 for 25 000 F/ Stock DR New York no. 3646; photo A 1146,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 21, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. According to Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue raisonné/Werkverzeichnis, vol. 3, Nos. 969–1595 (Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, 1996), pp. 694–95, cat. 1586 (ill.), the painting was owned by Lawrence J. Abbott and William Lowell Putnam, c. 1913.

[5] The transaction is recorded in the Durand-Ruel, New York, stock book for 1904–24 (no. 3646, as La Tamise à Londres, Waterloo Bridge, effet de soleil, 1903): “Sold to M. A. Ryerson on ?? February 1914 for $ 7 500,” as confirmed by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel and Flavie Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel Archives, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 21, 2013, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. The date of Feb. 10 is known from a purchase receipt on Durand-Ruel letterhead, dated February 10, 1914, which details that this painting (no. 3646, Monet,Waterloo Bridge, London, 1903) was acquired by M. A. Ryerson, in addition to two other paintings (no. 3668, Monet, La cabane de douaniers, 1897, and no. 3768, Monet, Les nymphéas, paysage d’eau, 1906) for $20,000. Photocopy in curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. This painting was on loan from Martin A. Ryerson to the Art Institute of Chicago, intermittently, by 1921, according to Museum Registration department artists sheets, on file in Museum Registration, Art Institute of Chicago.




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