Monet and Architecture at the National Gallery

Monet and Architecture?  Surely that should be Monet and Lily ponds!  Turns out that Monet painted just as many buildings as he did ponds.  Monet and Architecture at the National Gallery is here to show us that his buildings are every bit as compelling as his flowers.  One of the pictures in this exhibition even combines the two, with a bridge over a lily pond.  If, when this Monet exhibition has finished, you still want to see Monet at the National Gallery then you can as “The Water Lily Pond” lives here.

Claude Monet Water-Lily Pond National Gallery London

You know how, when you arrive at a new holiday destination, you wander round taking photos, maybe posting them on Instagram.  Claude Monet was no different, except that he didn’t have a camera phone, he settled down and painted what he saw. When he arrived to stay in Vétheuil in 1878 he rushed out to paint the church, not once but twice.  Both of these paintings are on show at the National Gallery Monet exhibition, the first time that they have hung next to each other in public, ever.

Claude Monet Vetheuil

Sometimes the buildings are so teeny-tiny that the scene looks like a landscape until you look really, really closely.  It took the teens and I some time to spot the tiny house at the top of these cliffs.

Claude Monet Cliff at Varengeville

Growing up in Norfolk where the cliffs are crumbling at an alarming rate, I confess that I looked at this painting of the cliffs at Dieppe and wondered if the houses are still standing over 140 years later.

Claude Monet Cliffs at Dieppe

Light fascinated Monet.  You know how taking a photo on a sunny day with bright blue skies makes everything just look so much better?  Well, Monet liked to paint the same scene over and over again, recording the subtle differences that changing light made. He would have many canvases set up and flit from one to another as a cloud scudded over or the sun set.  Monet and Architecture is rich in these series paintings.  Feast your eyes on Rouen Cathedral.

Claude Monet Rouen Cathedral Monet and Architecture National Gallery London

Marvel at the way the bridges over the Thames at London, seen from Monet’s room at the Savoy, recede and reappear in the fog.  If you have a spare £2,058 you can stay in the Monet suite at the Savoy, to try and capture the changing view yourself.

Claude Monet London views Monet and Architecture at the National Gallery London


Tickets are not cheap at £20 for adults.  Still, they are cheaper than an adult ticket to say, Madam Tussards.  Is it worth shelling out £20 to see Monet?  Yes!  Why?  This National Gallery Monet exhibition makes you think about Monet in a different way, not just as a painter of landscapes but as an artist capturing the way that the world was changing rapidly around him.  Monet and Architecture is the first exhibition dedicated purely to Monet to be staged in London for 20 years, you might have to wait a very long time for the next one.


All the tickets sold out for the day that you want to visit?  Don’t worry, members of the National Gallery can go into the exhibition when ever they like, as often as they like and for free.  Well you need to pay for your membership which starts at £68.  If you would like to know more about museum memberships in London check out my post.


  • National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
  • 9 April 2018 – 29 July 2018
  • Admission: Adults £20 weekdays, £22 weekends concessions available
  • Opening times: Daily 10am – 6pm (until 9pm Fridays)
  • Members get into the exhibition for free as often as they like
  • Book your tickets in advance to make sure you get in.
  • CulturedKids


  1. April 21, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    Wonderful post and I do love Monet s work. Interestingly I visited Rouen and he has painted a series of painting of Rouen Cathedral in different light and at different times of year. Loved reading the post I would so love to see this exhibit. Thank you so much for this.

    • Catherine
      April 21, 2018 / 7:02 pm

      Seeing the series paintings next to each other is very special

      • April 21, 2018 / 7:19 pm

        I am so going to the exhibition

  2. April 21, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    This looks fascinating! I’m having a girls night in London soon but may pppmin early to visit this #culturedkida

    • Catherine
      April 21, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Sounds like an excellent plan!

  3. Beth
    April 22, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    I am happy to discover this exhibit through your post, as I only knew of the one at the Tate (which has not received the best reviews)…but this one at the National Gallery sounds more like what I would want to see anyway. I did see some of his work at the d’Orsay in Paris, and it is quite thrilling to observe in person the art you have seen in textbooks from school, and posters decorating college dorm walls. I am definitely making plans to see this! Thanks for the info and photos. #CulturedKids

  4. pigeonpairandme
    April 23, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    I don’t know these Monets, so I need to go and have a look. I’d take a ticket to this over Madame Tussauds any day! #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      April 23, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Me too, I did enjoy Madame Tussards but maybe not for multiple visits

  5. April 26, 2018 / 4:31 pm

    I would definitely spend the £20 for a chance to see these Monet’s in person! We have some at a San Francisco art gallery called the Legion of Honor and I spent ages in the Monet room. There’s just something entrancing about his work. #CulturedKids

    • Catherine
      April 28, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      I shall seek out the Legion of Honour when I am next in San Francisco

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