Continuing rejection by the Solon and increasing financial difficulties led Monet and a band of his friends - Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Boudin, Sisley,
Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas with others - to stage
their own exhibition in 1873, The Societe Anonyme des Artistes staged their first exhibition 1874. The exhibition was unsuccessful with poor attendance and acerbic reviews,
Monet spent the winter of that gear depicting Argenteuil under a blanket of snow, all details reduced to the pale glowing chill colors of winter. The gear before he had concentrated on scenes of the Seine, with the railway bridge often carrying a train in the background. Now he turned to the train itself, painting The Locomotive, with the bullet-live vehicle oil blustery red and black penetrating the landscape. He would return to the theme of trains two gears later with his monumental The Saint-Lazare Station series.
The Locomotive reflects Monet's love of combining man-made elements within the landscape, and he has amplified this through the use of searing perspective that sees the train rocket forwards while the fence dramatically recedes.