The painting is not so much a single view of a train platform, it is rather a component in larger project of a dozen canvases which attempts to portray all facets of the Gare Saint-Lazare. The paintings all have similar themes—including the play of light filtered through the smoke of the train shed, the billowing clouds of steam, and the locomotives that dominate the site. Of these twelve linked paintings, Monet exhibited between six and eight of them at the third Impressionist exhibition of , where they were among the most discussed paintings exhibited by any of the artists. Light—the dominant formal element in so many Impressionist paintings—is given particularly close attention in The Gare Saint-Lazare, the Auteuil Line. The billowing clouds of steam add to the effect, creating layers of light that fill the canvas.
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Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night , , oil on canvas, Nevertheless, it is surprising that The Starry Night has become so well known. Although Theo van Gogh felt that the painting ultimately pushed style too far at the expense of true emotive substance, the work has become iconic of individualized expression in modern landscape painting. Van Gogh had had the subject of a blue night sky dotted with yellow stars in mind for many months before he painted The Starry Night in late June or early July of It presented a few technical challenges he wished to confront—namely the use of contrasting color and the complications of painting en plein air outdoors at night—and he referenced it repeatedly in letters to family and friends as a promising if problematic theme. As an artist devoted to working whenever possible from prints and illustrations or outside in front of the landscape he was depicting, the idea of painting an invented scene from imagination troubled Van Gogh. Besides his private room, from which he had a sweeping view of the mountain range of the Alpilles, he was also given a small studio for painting.
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Van Gogh painted this walled field from his hospital room. For the first few months that he was there, he was not allowed to leave the grounds. The reaper labours in the heat of the sun. The wheat, painted with thick gobs of yellow, undulates around him.