Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight (1894) by Claude Monet

Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight - Claude Monet - 1894

Artwork Information

TitleRouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight
ArtistClaude Monet
Dimensions65.8 x 100.05 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight

The artwork “Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight” is a luminous example of Impressionism, crafted by Claude Monet in 1894. This oil on canvas masterpiece measures 65.8 by 100.05 cm and is part of a series focusing on the Rouen Cathedral. Monet’s interest in the interplay of light and architecture is epitomized in this cityscape genre painting, currently housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, USA.

The artwork captures the fa├žade of the Rouen Cathedral in shimmering sunlight, where the varying tones and textures create a sense of the ephemeral effects of light on the structure. Monet’s use of swift brushstrokes conveys the transient nature of light and atmosphere, a hallmark of the Impressionist movement. The shifts in color and intensity give an almost ethereal quality to the cathedral’s architecture, suggesting the time of day and weather conditions when the artist observed the scene. Small figures can be discerned at the base of the cathedral, providing a sense of scale and human presence amidst the grandeur of the Gothic edifice. Monet’s dedication to capturing the essence of the moment through the nuances of natural light is vividly apparent in this work, making it a significant representation of the Impressionist movement’s goals and aesthetics.

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