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Claude Monet Impression, Sunrise, c.1872

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Regular Price: $41.99

A boat sailing in a lake at sunrise

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This is the painting responsible for the birth of the art-term and era, "Impressionist." It was included in the first exhibition held by the Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers in 1874. Monet was a founder member, which had originated from the expressed desire to end the artistic stranglehold of the time. A critic who attended the exhibition, M. Louis Leroy, wrote a now famous article in which he used the term "Impressionist" based on the title of this painting. Despite the fact that Leroy had used the word derisively, the group decided to adopt it and painters such as Renoir and Degas were happy to be called Impressionists. Impressionist art is concerned with capturing on canvas the light and color of a fleeting moment, usually with brilliant colors painted in small strokes, side by side, rather than blended together. Ironically, "Impression, Soleil Levant" is not typical of Monet's work, although it does carry elements of his normal style. The horizon has disappeared and the water, sky and reflections have all merged together. The buildings and ships in the background are only vague shapes and the red sun dominates the painting. Monet himself commented: "It really can't pass as a view of Le Havre." His aim was not to create an accurate landscape, but to record the impressions, or feelings, formed while looking at it.
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