OIL PAINTING: Houses of Parliament, Fog Effect, 1900
This final oil painting of the series- Houses of Parliament, Fog Effect, however, differs from the others. It is titled without the additional clause used in the others to describe the momentary condition of the envelope, such as "...Sun Breaking Through the Fog" or "...Effect of Sunlight". In the earlier paintings, the buildings and river are inert, passively affected by the envelope of light. Here they take center stage with fantastically dynamic form. The spiraling brushstrokes of the tower sweep it upward majestically, seeming to draw contrails of the envelope into its vortex. The river, too, takes on a more aggressive aspect, the highlighted wavecrests creating a groundswell at the base of the tower that contributes to the rising effect. As the tower stretches toward the bright sky at the very pinnacle of the painting, Monet succeeds masterfully in expressing a dazzling sense of supreme aspiration.