Hyde Park, London
Claude Monet, French, Hyde Park, London, ca. 1871, Oil on canvas; 40.5 x 74 cm (15 7/8 x 29 1/8 inches), Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 42.218
Hyde Park was one of a small number of works Claude Monet produced during his first stay in London, when he fled Paris following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. The painting’s portable scale suggests that it might have been started out-of-doors, where the artist would have been able to quickly note conditions of light and atmosphere. The composition captures the park from the vantage point of a low hill on a grey afternoon in early spring. Leisurely strollers gather on the lawns or follow the paths that wind through the horizontal composition. Monet’s quiet palette and loose brushstrokes reflect the gentle character of this manicured setting, an oasis from the urban life visible in the row of houses and chimneys bordering the park.