In 1890s Monet pursued elaborated studies of light and its changing qualities by painting the same subject, Rouen Cathedral, at dawn and sunset, in rain and sunshine, in winter and summer. Using the Cathedral's facade with its fanciful carving and recessed windows and arches, Monet recorded changes in light and atmosphere. The artist produced over 30 views of the Rouen Cathedral between 1892 and 1894, which were considered an unusual and novel idea. The Rouen series proved to be successful for Monet as Durand-Ruel displayed 20 paintings in his gallery in 1895. They were sold fast and art critics praised the series.
Rouen Cathedral, built in 13th century, is one of the most important monuments of French Gothic architecture. Monet set himself on the 2nd floor of a shop opposite the cathedral, he finished the paintings in his Giverny studio.