impression sunrise by claude monet characteristics

Impression sunrise by claude monet characteristics
Impression, Sunrise is a slight sketch, almost certainly completed on the spot in a single sitting, depicting the harbour at Le Havre as the sun rises over the cranes, derricks and masts of the anchored ships. It was actually painted in one sitting by Monet, standing at a window overlooking the harbour at sunrise. The only evidence of life is the lazy action of the oarsman in the most sharply defined part of the composition. The painting gives a suggestion of the early morning mist, at that time clogged with the industrial smoke of the city, and has a strong relationship to the earlier views of mist and fog done by the artist in London in 1870. Influenced by both Eugene Boudin (1824-98) and Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891), Monet had only recently returned from London, and his abiding impression of the city, recalled later, was of its fog. While there, he had seen the work of J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), who is generally thought to have been an important influence on both him and the other Impressionists, and he may also have seen some of the early Nocturnes by his contemporary James Whistler (1834-1903).
The colour character of this painting relies on the opposition of complementaries or near complementaries – orange and blue. In the top left a brown (a mixture of the same orange and blue) gives a linking colour note. The composition, though simple, like that of most Impressionist paintings, is nevertheless dramatically effective. The indistinct forms of the port run across the canvas, and a diagonal from the left edge through the three small boats emphasizes the positioning of the orange sun, while the middle small boat repeats the sun’s position in the alternative quarter. The effect is a dynamic balance in which the reflection of the sun in the water enlivens the scene.

The second interesting point to analyse is the background, which predominantly consists of steamships and smoke chimneys. Le Havre was a thriving port and some art historians claim that the prominence industry in this painting represents political implications. It is particularly interesting when you realise that the true scene that Monet could see when completing his painting included houses to the left side of the jetty but Monet chose to ignore these and not include them in his painting so as not to obscure the industrial aspect of the scene.
There are several interesting points to note when studying this picture. First, the brightness of the orange sun against the grey background appears to make the sunset stand out in the painting. However, the sun is no brighter than any of the other colours used. In fact, if this painting is viewed in black and white, the sunrise becomes almost invisible. This is because of the way the human eye perceives luminance and colour.

Impression sunrise by claude monet characteristics
The representation of Le Havre, hometown of Monet and a center of industry and commerce, celebrates the “renewed strength and beauty of the country. Monet’s ultimate utopian statement.” Art demonstrating France’s revitalization, Monet’s depiction of Le Havre’s sunrise mirrors the renewal of France. [4]
The hazy scene of Impression, Sunrise strayed from traditional landscape painting and classic, idealized beauty. Paul Smith suggested that with this style, Monet meant to express “other beliefs about artistic quality which might be tied to the ideologies being consolidated by the emergent bourgeoisie from which he came.” [10] Loose brush strokes meant to suggest the scene rather than to mimetically represent it demonstrate the emergent Impressionist movement. In the wake of an emergent industrialization in France, this style expressed innovative individuality. Considering this, Smith claims that “Impression, Sunrise was about Monet’s search for spontaneous expression, but was guided by definite and historically specific ideas about what spontaneous expression was.” [10]

Impression sunrise by claude monet characteristics
Heinrich, Christoph. Claude Monet, 1840-1926. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH,
Lyon, Christopher. “Unveiling Monet.” MoMA 7 (1991): 14-23. Print.

From the 15th April to 15th May 1874 Monet exhibited his work together with Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and some other thirty artists. They organized their exhibition on their own as they were usually rejected at the Paris Salon. Most visitors were disgusted and even outraged over such a graffiti. Monet’s Impression, Sunrise enjoyed the most attention and some visitors even claimed that they were absolutely unable to recognize what was shown at all.
This famous painting, Impression, Sunrise, was created from a scene in the port of Le Havre. Monet depicts a mist, which provides a hazy background to the piece set in the French harbor. The orange and yellow hues contrast brilliantly with the dark vessels, where little, if any detail is immediately visible to the audience. It is a striking and candid work that shows the smaller boats in the foregrouna almost being propelled along by the movement of the water. This has, once again, been achieved by separate brushstrokes that also show various colors “sparkling” on the sea.

References:

http://www.monetpaintings.org/impression-sunrise/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impression,_Sunrise
http://blogs.longwood.edu/incite/2012/01/30/analysis-of-claude-monet%E2%80%99s-impression-sunrise/
http://www.claude-monet.com/impression-sunrise.jsp
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impression,_Sunrise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *