Contrary to classical painting, this painting does not tell any story, it is simply a snapshot of reality in the way that a photographer could do it , without any type of religious, mythological or costumbrista content. In this sense, we can consider it as antiliterary , being the true protagonist the light.
This famous painting was created from a scene in the port of Le Havre. Monet represents a mist, which provides a misty background to the piece set in the French port. The orange and yellow tones contrast brilliantly with the dark glasses, where little or no detail is immediately visible to the audience. It is a striking and frank work showing the smaller boats in the foreground almost propelled by the movement of the water. Monet achieves the effect by using separate brushstrokes that also show various colors "scintillating" over the sea.
From April 15 to May 15, 1874, Monet exhibited his work alongside Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and thirty other artists. They organized their exhibition on their own, as they used to be rejected at the Paris Salon. Most of the visitors were disgusted and even outraged by the style. Monet's print enjoyed a great deal of attention with some visitors even claiming that they were completely unable to recognize what was on display.
A critic who attended the exhibition, M. Louis Leroy, wrote a now famous article in Le Charivari in which he used the term "Impressionist" based on the title of this painting. Even though Leroy had used the word derisively, the group decided to adopt it and painters like Renoir and Degas were happy to be called Impressionists.
Despite its notoriety, the painting is somewhat atypical of Monet's own work from this period and Impressionism in general. It shows little of the Impressionist treatment of light and colour. The colors are very restrained and the paint is applied not in discreet strokes of contrasting colors but in very fine washes. In some places the canvas is even visible and the only use of impasto is in the representation of sunlight reflecting off water. The painting is more atmospheric than analytical and has a spirit somewhat akin to Turner's works. However, it illustrates particularly well one of the features of an Impressionist painting that was thought to be so revolutionary.
The technique is very "schematic" 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 'Print' to distinguish it from works such as his other view of Le Havre in the same exhibition, although this too lacks the expected finish. In this work, Monet kept detail to a minimum: the shipyards in the tiled background are merely suggested by a few brushstrokes, as are the ships in the foreground. The ensemble represents the artist's swift attempt to capture a fleeting moment. The highly visible, almost abstract technique attracts almost more attention than the subject itself, a notion then totally foreign to viewers.
Today, Impression of the Rising Sun is considered as the most prominent and recognized impressionist painting on the planet, along with Van Gogh's famous painting of nocturnal stars .
Impression of the Rising Sun is ranked no. 8 on the list of famous paintings
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