monet impression sunrise how is it different
This work was painted from a hotel window at Le Havre in 1873 (Monet later dated it incorrectly to 1872). It was one of the nine works that he showed at the First Impressionist Exhibition of 1874. Of all those displayed there, this is probably the most famous picture, not so much because of any crucial status within Monet’s oeuvre, but rather for the criticism it attracted from the reviewers, which gave rise to the name of the movement. On 25 April, ten days after the exhibition had opened, an article appeared in the satirical journal Le Charivari in which the critic Louis Leroy described a fictitious conversation between two visitors. One of them was a landscape painter who, while looking at this work, exclaimed: ‘Impressionism, I knew it; after all I’m impressed so it must be an impression. What freedom! What ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than this seascape!’ The article was entitled ‘The Exhibition of the Impressionists’, and the label stuck thereafter, as well as being used by such other critics of the exhibition as Castagnary.
Despite its notoriety the painting is in some ways untypical of Monet’s own work of this period and of Impressionism more generally. It shows little of the Impressionist treatment of light and color. The colors are very restrained and the paint is applied not in discrete brushstrokes of contrasting colours but in very thin washes. In some places the canvas is even visible and the only use of impasto is in the depiction of the reflected sunlight on the water. The painting is strongly atmospheric rather than analytical and has a spirit somewhat akin to Turner’s works. Nevertheless, it does illustrate particularly well one of the features of Impressionist painting that was thought so revolutionary. The technique is very ‘sketchy’ and would have been seen as a preliminary study for a painting rather than a finished work suitable for exhibition. (Monet himself saw the work as unfinished, and it was for that reason that he adopted the title ‘Impression’ to distinguish it from such works as his other view of Le Havre in the same exhibition, though this too lacks the finish then expected.) In this work Monet stripped away the details to a bare minimum: the dockyards in the background are merely suggested by a few brushstrokes as are the boats in the foreground. The whole represents the artist’s swift attempt to capture a fleeting moment. The highly visible, near abstract technique, compels almost more attention than the subjectmatter itself, a notion then wholly alien to viewers.
This painting, whose title the art critic Louis Leroy (1812-1885) used in the headline of his dismissive review entitled “The Exhibition of the Impressionists”, was responsible for naming the world’s most popular style of modern art – a style adopted by modern artists around the globe. The leader of this so-called Impressionism was Claude Monet, whose lifelong quest was the mastery of plein air painting (rather than studio work), so as to capture the momentary effects of sunlight. Among his fellow Impressionist painters, only two others – Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) – shared this ambition, although Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) maintained it into middle age. (For more information, see: Impressionist Claude Monet and Legacy of Claude Monet’s Impressionism.)
Explanation of other Monet Paintings
Following 1874 and the rise of the Impressionist movement, Monet recalled Impression, Sunrise by naming other works with similar titles. The subtitles recalled Impression, Sunrise in style and influence, though their subjects varied. Examples of similarly titles works are Effet de brouillard, impression in 1879, L’Impression in 1883, Garden at Bordighera, Impression of Morning in 1884, Marine (impression) in 1887, and Fumées dans le brouillard, impression in 1904. These works then seemed as a continuation of his Le Havre scene, “one of the sequence of canvases in which he was seeking to capture the most fleeting natural effects, as a display of his painterly virtuosity.”  Evoking the name of Impression, Sunrise, but also providing stylistic connections, the later paintings are similarly “quite summary and economical in handling, and depict particularly hazy or misty effects” that is characteristic of Monet’s impressionism in particular. 
While the title of the painting seemed to be chosen in haste for the catalogue, the term “Impressionism” was not new. It had been used for some time to describe the effect of paintings from the Barbizon school. Both associated with the school, Daubigny and Manet had been known to use the term to describe their own works. 
When he painted ‘Impression, Sunrise’, Monet did not mix colours to create different hues. Nor did he wait for one layer of paint to dry before applying the next. Rather, he used natural colours in layers that each then mixed with the layer of paint below and the production of light, shade and colours happens directly on the canvas. A number of factors may impact on this process, such as temperature, humidity and wind, depending on the setting of the painting.
According to Monet, he gave the painting a title as he was asked to do so for the exhibition catalogue. In explanation of his title choice, he attributed his hazy painting style to using the term вЂImpressionвЂ™ as he felt that the term вЂviewвЂ™ was not an accurate reflection of the painting style. Therefore, he titled the piece ‘Impression: Soleil Levant’, or ‘Impression: Sunrise’.
In 1872, Monet visited Le Havre. During this holiday, he completed a series of six paintings featuring the Port of Le Havre at various times: daytime, sunset, nighttime, and, of course, dawn.
Claude Monet, “Impression Sunrise,” 1872 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)