Zack Milostan ZimmerWritten Formal Analysis 1/20/18Analysisof Impression, Sunrise Impression,Sunrise, the painting that iscredited to giving the Impressionist movement its name, is an oil on canvas piecethat was completed in 1872 by Claude Monet. He made this painting in a single setting in Le Havre, and it nowresides at the Paris Musée Marmottan Museum. At thepainting’s first viewing at the Paris Salon in 1874, the painting received alot of critical backlash as many felt like it was a mere sketch of anincomplete painting. Also, many viewers were unable to determine what thepainting was representing, which would be a foggy morning in the port town ofLe Havre. The subject of Impression, Sunrise is Le Havre on a foggymorning, with the sun being the focus. Monetincorporated a palette of primarily cool, dull colors into the painting withblues and grays, but also included warm colors used in the sky and in thered-orange sun.
Monet uses intensitycontrast with these colors by making broken lines of orange against the bluewater, which causes a shimmering effect that leads the eye up the orange trail tothe sun.As for the brushstrokes, according to Artble, “Impressionismfavored rapid brush strokes in order to accurately depict the immediacy of thescene in front of them” (Artble). In Impression, Sunrise, Monet uses thisrapid brushstroke technique “to portray the effect of the sun’s light againstthe water and its fluidity in comparison the rest of the scene” (Artble).
Impression, Sunrise is a representational work, andit represents two things, with the first being a foggy Le Havre in the morning,which that is what the painting is based on. The other is a post-war France, represented by the darker colors and theblack row boats, looking towards a bright future, depicted by the focus of thepainting: the sun.Through the use of color temperature, intensity,and harmony, Claude Monet was able to convey meaning with a specificinterpretation of the piece: that the post-war France has a bright future. Now,the artwork is much more important now compared to when it was made,considering that the critics of the time considered it a mere sketch of painting,which it is. Today, it is important due tothe fact that it essentially started the Impressionist movement, gave themovement its name, and through that, changed art forever by creating a model thatpromoted artistic freedom, which many artists of the past longed for.
And as time passed, the meaning of the artworknever changed, but the function of the work has changed from initially beinghighly criticized by many to being famous for causing a movement that wouldchange the meaning and perception of art forever. Works Cited”Analysis of Claude Monet’s Impression,Sunrise.” Incite,blogs.longwood.edu/incite/2012/01/30/analysis-of-claude-monet%E2%80%99s-impression-sunrise/.”Ending Conclusion.” Views of Impressionism ofToday., www.impressionism.org/finis.htm.”Impression Sunrise.” Artble, 19July 2017, www.artble.com/artists/claude_monet/paintings/impression_sunrise.