Exhibited: The London Paintings of Arturo Di Stefano, Museum of London, 22 February – 3 April 2000.
Literature:,Arturo Di Stefano, Portrait of a City: The London Paintings of Arturo Di Stefano Purdy Hicks Gallery, London, for the exhibition Portrait of a City: The London Paintings of Arturo Di Stefano held at the Museum of London, 22 February – 3 April 2000. p.8)
This is one of several paintings of railway stations and was made as a pendant to an earlier work entitled Hotel Splendide, which dealt with ideas of transience and sojourn.Waterloo is freighted with allusions to Monet’s Gare St Lazare – the veils of paint reminiscent of smoke, countervailing the geometric skeletal structure of the rail terminal. My hope was that people would be transported as they looked at this place of transport.(Arturo Di Stefano, Portrait of a City: The London Paintings of Arturo Di Stefano)
The painting shows Platforms 1 and 2 of Waterloo Station during the (brief) period that it was the international terminal for Eurostar. Di Stefano painted it on the day of a national railway strike, hence the eerie lack of passengers. Waterloo Station was opened in 1848. Its haphazard growth throughout the 19th century led to it being described as “the most perplexing railway station in London.” It was eventually replaced by the present building with its 21 platforms in 1922.