Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day


                        MINGSHEN ZHANG

This is the art work I chose and the visual analysis I wrote.

Title of art work: Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day

Artist: CLAUDE MONET (French, 1840-1926)

Oil on canvas, 1903

Dimension: 65.1 x 100 cm (25 5/8 x 39 3/8 in)

Collection: Chester Dale Collection 1963.10.183

The reason why I chose this artwork is that this artwork looks vague, and I am so curious about what is inside the work. This painting has a feeling of blurry and vagueness. At first glance, it seems that nothing can be seen clearly. But if you spend a little more time, you will find a lot of details and stories.

The line of the painting is really blurry. There’s no defined edge on the painting, but if we take more time and look closely, the artist uses some horizontal and vertical line to show the factory on the background. For the ship on the river, Artist uses some diagonal line, to create the movement of the ship. He also uses some curving lines to draw the wave in the river and the fog from the chimney, the curving line brings us a sense of energy. The combination of these three lines creates a rich feeling, not so uniform. The audience was clearly aware of the combination of movement, the serious factory was behind the background, and smoke came out of the chimney. The cargo ship in the water is running in a hurry. I think the author’s line is very simple and effective, although this picture does not have too much detail, but gives me a feeling of dynamic and static. The serious lines depict the bridge and the factory and chimneys in the background, the active lines depict the ripples in the water, and the lines at different angles reflect the movement of the ship. This strong contrast of lines, I feel that I am really observing this scene of life.

The color using of the painting is also interesting, The color hue includes both warm and cool, the warm part is the red sunlight and the pink fog, the cool part is the factory bridge and ship, there is clear color contrast. The value of the color is really dark can suggest the mystery. Although the color of the cold and warm changes, the intensity is so dull, reflects the artist’s mood is not very good when creating this painting. I think this kind of color application can obviously make the audience know the mood that the author wants to express, and does not lose the beauty of the painting. Also, I think his using of color is so great. He uses varying shades of blue, green and red to create the whole painting, even though there are only three main colors, its enough for the audience to clarify the whole piece of art, also let the audience know this is a foggy late afternoon. He also blurs the color together to create an impression of mist and the hazes.

This painting is an obviously two dimension texture, but he uses different depth and layers and shadows to create a sense of three dimensions. The positive space should be the fog and bridge, and the negative part is the factory and river. The texture of each part of the painting is different. This is a landscape painting. Although it does not require the general details of portraits, the overall texture is more blurred than normal landscapes. The painter did not show many details. He only used the lines and shapes of the vinegar to express different feelings. For example, the sky in this painting. It is conceivable that at the time of creation, the painter only used a combination of simple blue and pink colors to show the blue sky and white clouds and the sun. In the water, the authors used simple green and pink curves to show water fluctuations and sunlight. The author’s shading application is also very clever. Under the bridge, the author aggravated the use of green pigments, reflecting the direction of the sun, making the whole painting more realistic.

This piece is a classic Impressionist oil painting. In the third-person perspective, the author used paint to record the scene of London on board. The artist treats the field of vision very abstract. We are really far from the landscape, our viewpoint and perspective is in the front and is higher than the Bridge. The elements in the image are not uniform or symmetrical. Positive and negative space is not very busy. Our focus should be on the fog on the bridge. The scale of this work is not very large. The proportion of each element in this painting is very average. I think this painting is divided into three parts, namely the water surface, the bridge and the factory, which are distinguished by different shapes and colors. My eyes were initially attracted to the bridge and fog in the painting, and then I looked at the other parts. the lighting also directs my eye to the fog in the space which is very deep and expansive.

My Thesis paragraph

I think that by carefully observing this work, the author wants to express his dissatisfaction with the social development of the time. This painting is the London Bridge. It is obvious that we can see that there are countless factories in the background and there are moving freighters in the canal. The British were in the industrial revolution. The author highlights the gray weather, the exaggerated fog, and the entire painting uses a deep color, expressing strong unhappiness. I think this painting also expresses the helplessness of the painter. He stands across the river far away, and the observer is all this, but he can’t change the development of all this anyway, watching such earth-shaking changes in his original hometown. His heart must be very complicated and helpless.

Visual-Historical Analysis

In this phase you will combine your visual analysis with historical research to understand the work in relation to its original social context. Politics, gender, race, religion, etc., will figure into this analysis in various ways. The historical aspects of the paper must rely on three scholarly, peer-reviewed sources from the Library catalogue and the art-history databases presented in class.(I list below) After you conduct your research, revisit the thesis of your visual analysis. Have you changed your mind about what the artist/work is attempting to communicate? This is a moment for you to test your cultural assumptions. Your new thesis should indicate whether or not, and to what degree, your historical research bears out your initial assumptions about your work. Have you changed your mind? If so, why? Integrate the visual with the historical to demonstrate your revised thesis, and revise your paragraph content – this is the evidence that supports your thesis – to reflect this revision.

You can add something about impressionism, that specific time period of England(industrial revolution)  also the history of Monet and something about historical, and add your opinion on it, based on my visual analysis.

Format for the Paper: Essays will be 5 single-spaced pages in length with one-inch margins and a 12-point font.

  • The Art Bulletin
  • The Art Journal
  • Art History
  • American Art
  • Art in America
  • Artibus et Historiae
  • Apollo
  • Archives of American Art
  • Artforum
  • British Art Journal
  • Burlington Magazine
  • Canvas: Art and Culture from the Middle East and Arab World
  • Critical Inquiry
  • Feminist Studies
  • History of Photography
  • Immediations
  • Journal of Aesthetics and Art Critcism
  • Journal of Canadian Art History
  • Museum Studies
  • N.paradoxa: journal of feminist art
  • October
  • Oxford Art Journal
  • Print Quarterly
  • Renaissance Quarterly
  • Representations
  • Sculpture
  • Sculpture Journal
  • Studies in Iconography
  • Tate Etc.
  • Third Text
  • Visual Culture in Britain
  • Winterthur Portfolio
  • Woman’s Art Journal
  • Word and Image
  • World Art
Reviews (0)


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *