stylistic significance of monet impression sunrise
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. 
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. 
The loose brushstrokes of Impression, Sunrise strayed from the more traditional landscapes of the time. The aim of Impression, Sunrise was not to paint a realistic view of the harbor; instead, his style of painting suggests the impressions he felt while looking out the window at the view. The docks in the background are represented by just a few brushstrokes, and in some places the canvas is still visible; rather than striving for realism, Monet was attempting to capture and preserve a certain moment in time.
Painted in 1872, Impression, Sunrise was one of the paintings Monet showed at the inaugural Impressionist salon. The painting shows a harbor in Le Havre, with the sun rising over the anchored ships. It was painted by Monet in one sitting, with his technique of looking out the window and simply drawing what he saw.
In 1861, Monet was drafted to Algeria for military service. During his seven years in North Africa, he developed a taste for color and light. When he returned to France, he continued to incorporate a sun-soaked palette into his paintings, which he rendered in quick, expressive brushstrokes in order to capture fleeting “impressions” of his surroundings.
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.
NOTE: For the story behind French Impressionism and the group of talented artists who created it, see our 10-part series, beginning: Impressionism: Origins, Influences.
Poppy Field (Argenteuil) (1873) Musee d’Orsay, Paris.
Masterpiece of plein-air painting.
There are many cultural influences that permeate Impression, Sunrise. The masterpiece is a combination of two themes in landscape painting that would have been extremely familiar during the late nineteenth century. Scenes of sunrises and French ports were subjects that were commonly portrayed in artworks of this time; therefore Monet’s decision to combine these two topics is logical. We can also explain his choice of subject matter through his own personal background. Le Havre port, the one seen in Impression, Sunrise, was located in Monet’s hometown. He was extremely familiar with this area of France and had special connections to the harbor itself. Therefore, viewers and researchers can clearly recognize why he would select this location as the main subject in many of his works.
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