Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Impression - Soleil Levant by Claude Monet
I stood in front of this painting today, in the Marmottan Museum in Paris.
The title means: "Impresssion - Rising sun." All alone on a modest wall, between two open doorways, there it is, the painting who gave the name to to Impressionism as an art form.
Painted in 1872, or maybe one or two years later, the critics were not very impressed by it...
And, one art critic, Louis Leroy, mocked the title, calling Monet and his likes "Impressionists". Well. He couldn't know that him being funny on the painter's behalf should create a word who would forever describe the art mouvement in the late 1800s.
The painting is modest, and understated, Monet probably didn't spend much time painting it. The scene is in Le Havre, at the old harbor, and because of the morning fog we can only faintly see the hints of modern industry, boats and a few people in dark silhouets against the rising sun.
I love the painting. I've seen it before, and this time I stood there for a while, disappearing into it. Hardly anybody else stopped to even look at it, something I find extremely strange, but there was a new temporary exhibit at the museum, and I guess most people came there because of that, and maybe they had no idea they just passed a historically important piece of art...