Impression, soleil levant (1872) by Claude Monet

Impression, soleil levant - Claude Monet - 1872

Artwork Information

TitleImpression, soleil levant
ArtistClaude Monet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions63 x 48 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France

About Impression, soleil levant

The artwork “Impression, soleil levant,” created by Claude Monet in 1872, is a seminal oil on canvas painting that greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. Measuring 63 x 48 cm, this cityscape genre painting is housed at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, France. Its depiction of the early morning effects of the sun on the sea established its historical importance as it captures the fleeting moments of light and atmosphere, emblematic of the Impressionist style.

The artwork presents an ethereal view of Le Havre’s port at sunrise. The harbour is alive with activity, yet the scene is imbued with a sense of tranquility. Monet’s masterful application of vibrant colors conveys the early morning light breaking through the mist. Bold, expressive brushstrokes define the water’s surface, reflecting hints of the red sun’s warm glow, which creates a stark contrast with the cooler tones of the sky and buildings. The smoky silhouette of industrial ships and factories in the background stands as a testament to the onset of modernity, while a small, dark figure in a rowboat occupies the foreground, calmly navigating the reflections that dance upon the water.

As a pioneering work of Impressionism, this painting’s title even inspired the name of the movement itself. Monet’s loose brushwork and the treatment of light and color exemplify the Impressionist preoccupation with capturing the sensory effects of a moment, choosing to emphasize immediate visual impression over detail. “Impression, soleil levant” is not only a depiction of a simple sunrise but also an enduring symbol of a revolutionary artistic movement that sought to break from traditional representation.

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