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Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet

Impression, Sunrise Impression - Soleil Levant by Claude Monet

Impression, Sunrise Impression – Soleil Levant by Claude Monet

“Impression, Sunrise” by Claude Monet, was first shown at what would become known as the “Exhibition of the Impressionists” in Paris in1874. This painting is credited with inspiring the name of the “Impressionist” movement.

The title of the painting seemed to be chosen in haste for the urgent printing of the exhibition catalog. However, the term “Impressionism” was not new.

It had been used for some time to describe the effect of paintings of Manet and others, whose works featured loose brushwork and softness of form.

It was the art critic Louis Leroy’s review of the exhibition, who used the title “The Exhibition of the Impressionists” to describe the new style of work displayed, which he claimed was typified by Monet’s painting of the same name.

Among the thirty participants, the 1874 exhibition was Monet, Degas,  Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. There were over two hundred works that were seen by about 4,000 people.

From that point, the term “Impressionism” was used to describe the style, and Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” is today considered to encapsulate the start of the Impressionist movement and the movement’s name.

“Impression, Sunrise” depicts the port of Le Havre, Monet’s hometown. Monet claimed that he titled the painting “Impression, Sunrise” due to his hazy painting style  Later he claimed:

“They asked me for a title for the catalog, it couldn’t really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: ‘Put Impression.'”

Monet visited his hometown of Le Havre in 1872 and proceeded to create a series of works depicting the port of Le Havre. The six painted canvases depict the port during different times during the day and different vantage points.

In 1985 the painting was stolen from the museum. It was recovered and returned to the museum and displayed again in 1991.

Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting “Soleil Levant” or “Impression, Sunrise,” which was exhibited in 1874.

Monet adopted a method of art in which he painted the same scene many times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons.

Monet is known for having produced a series of paintings, in which all the versions consist of the same subject and perspective.

Examples include his series of the “Valley of the Creuse” series and his famous series of “Haystacks” and “Water Lilies” paintings.

From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where at his home, he developed a garden landscape that included the lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works.

In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, firstly with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings, with the water lilies as the main feature. This series occupied him for the last 20 years of his life.

Impression, Sunrise Impression – Soleil Levant

  • Title:                Impression, Sunrise
  • French:            Soleil Levant
  • Artist:              Claude Monet
  • Year:                1872
  • Medium:         Height: 48 cm (18.8 ″); Width: 63 cm (24.8 ″)
  • Museum:        Musée Marmottan Monet

Claude Monet

Impression, Sunrise (Monet)

A Virtual Tour of the Musée Marmottan Monet

Impression Sunrise

A Tour of Paris Museums and Historic Sites

Impressionism – Overview

Monet Impression Sunrise


“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand as if it were necessary to understand when it is simply necessary to love.”
– Claude Monet


Photo Credit: 1)Claude Monet [Public domain]

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