In the nineteenth century the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of the British Empire turned the Thames into the commercial artery of England.
In parts it was a bustling, noisy river teeming with life, dedicated to vibrant commerce. Swishing ropes, clanging chains, smoking ships funnels, hooters and bells, the cries of the dockers as they unloaded the ships - such were the myriad sounds that formed this beating heart of London.
But for Monet, the most interesting result of all this industrial, smokey chaos was something rarely seen over the Thames today - fog.
The effects of the resulting smoke-generated fog, known as 'smog', challenged artists like James McNeill Whistler and Claude Monet to paint the river through a veil of light and mist.