What painting techniques have been used in Monet's painting, Impressionism Sunrise?Impressionism Sunrise: http://www.allartpainting.com/impression-sunrise-p-10461.html I need to write an essay on...

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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On April 25, 1874, Louis Leroy, a landscape painter know for the lampoons that he published regularly in satirical newspapers and incorrectly credited with inventing the term "impressionist" helped to popularize it with a review written as an imaginary dialogue with an old-fashioned painter who is shocked by the works of Monet:

'Ah! This is it, this is it!' impression,Sunrise.

Impression--I knew it.  I was just saying to myself, if I'm impressed, there must be an impression in there....And what freedom, what ease in the brushwork!  Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more labored than this seascape!'

According to Charles E. Stuckey, editor of Monet:  A Retrospective, four terms appear over and over with regard to his landscapes:  motif, effect, fairylike, and decoration.

  • Monet held that the first real look at the motif (subject)was likely to be the truest and most unprejudiced one.  His philosophy of painting was to paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see, "not the object isolated as in a test tube, but the object enveloped in sunlight and atmosphere, with the blue dome of Heaven reflected in the shadows."Certainly, Monet makes what seem almost careless brush strokes, dragging the color onto the canvas with long flexible brushes he had made.
  • Effect pertains to light condition. The play of light upon the canvas is of paramount importance.  And, Monet refused to continue to paint as soon as a given light effect changed.  So, he developed the ability to analyze and transcribe what he saw--his impressions--with lightning speed.
  • Fairylike denotes the interaction of motif and effect to suggest the spirit of The 1001 Nights, a book cherished by Monet and many of his friends.  The work celebrates something that is to be seen and marveled at, but never understood, since our eyes ask us to believe perceptions that are contrary to logic.
  • Using the term decoration, Monet's color vibrancy is made from little incoherent bits, like spilled mercury in different colors.  But, seen from a distance, the illusion of spatial depth is impressive.  So, depending on the viewer's point of view, the painting appears different.

Stuckey, Charles F. ed. Monet:  A Retrospective. Hugh Lauter levin Associates, Inc.,1985.

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