Claude Monet painted "Sunrise" from the Hôtel de l'Amirauté on the port of Le Havre in November 1872.
The painting, held by the Getty Museum in California, is part of a triptych on the same subject, which includes the famous "Impression - rising sun" from the Marmottan-Monet museum in Paris and "Port du Havre - night effect" from the Hasso Plattner collection at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam.
In the center, a sailboat is heading with its tender towards the exit of the port, on calm water with velvet waves iridescent by the reflections of a sun which has not managed to pierce the clouds of early morning. Further back, a steamer blends into the mist, just as other ships are suggested by the forest of their masts, which trace the verticalities of the painting.
The composition of the painting is centered on the sailboat in the foreground, inscribed in a. isosceles triangle, one side of which accompanies the iridescence of the sun. The diagonal separates the close shots from the distant shots in an atmosphere where the fog blurs the forms which dissolve towards the horizon. Whether they are on the boat or in the sailboat, the characters, although barely suggested, are incredibly present in the awakening of an early autumn morning.
The juxtaposition of raw and contrasting touches in the treatment of colors, the impression of unfinished which, for most critics of the time, could strictly qualify the canvas as a sketch, would become one of the markers of the Impressionist movement which crystallizes from the April 1874 exhibition.
From left to right, "Impression - Rising Sun", "Sunrise", "Port of Le Havre - Night Effect"
In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...