Claude Monet - Impression, SunriseOil on canvas, 1872, 48 cm × 63 cm, Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris



Description and interpretation of the famous painting "Impression, Sunrise" by Claude Monet!

Claude Monet - Impression, Sunrise

Today it looks like only one of many sunrises we know from the Impressionists. But at the time of its creation, the painting was a shock. Recognized contemporary painting had taken a different direction - it was about fidelity to reality, about photorealism.
But the group of painters, to which Monet also belonged, asked themselves other questions. Is the sea the same in the morning as in the evening? Is the sea in the red light the same as in the yellow light? The motivation of these artists was to train their own sensations and not to switch them off.
It was necessary to counter the constant changes of the light, the wind, the own sensation with speed. "Impression, sunrise" seems as if it was created in a short time and translated intuitively and directly from the eye into the hand.

We see the port of Le Havre in the morning. In the foreground, the dark contours of some boats are still clearly visible; in the back, the forms are so abstract that it takes some effort to assemble them into ships and factory chimneys. Only the round, reddish sun overlooks the events as a clearly defined circle. It is also the one that throws orange reflections into the otherwise bluish, and foggy environment.

Monet spontaneously gave the work the title "Impression" when he was asked which title should appear in the exhibition catalogue: "Since I could not call the painting "View of Le Havre", I said: "Call it Impression". This epithet was mockingly received by the critics. Thus they disparagingly called the exhibition of the group of artists "Exposition des Impressionistes" - and thus brought to life a concept of style that has survived the passage of time.

© the artinspector / alexandra tuschka