Why Choose the Cathedral and why concentrate on the Facade ?
Monet began the series in 1892 and finished his direct observations by 1893. Monet had rented temporary spaces opposite the cathedral for the purpose and made 30 paintings directly from the motif. These were then re-worked in his own studio during 1894. Of the 30 paintings 20 were chosen as the best of the series and exhibited in Paris by his dealer.
The series was an attempt to paint the same object in different light conditions and at different times of day something that had begun to appear in Monet's work perhaps most famously in his series of "Haystacks".
However where the haystacks are situated in a landscape, in the cathedral series Monet concentrates almost solely on the cathedral's facade. Why did Monet choose the cathedral and concentrate exclusively on the facade ?