This unusual painting by Claude Monet painted from life in the old avantport of Le Havre. The finished work was presented at the exhibition “Anonymous society of artists, painters, sculptors, engravers and lithographers”, which was held in 1874 in the former workshop of the Paris photographer Nadar, and caused heated debates.
Journalist Louis Leroy, who covered this cultural event in the newspaper Le Charivari, criticized the picture, saying that the wallpaper would have looked much more complete than the “Impression”. The article he wrote was called The Exhibition of Impressors, or,
In fact, the opinion of this canvas by Claude Monet was ambiguous. Some called his work a real daub, others could not make a definite opinion and just shrugged their shoulders, others remained in an enthusiastic state after what they saw.
The picture shows sharp swift brushstrokes that more resemble sparkling spots. To achieve the purity and transparency of light, the artist used the paint in its pure form, rather than mixing colors on the palette. This innovation was perceived as nonsense.
The compositional center of the canvas is the orange sun. With difficulty making its way through the haze, it casts a warm pinkish glow to the surface of the water. Surprisingly, if the picture is translated into a black and white gamut, this effect will almost disappear. The port is barely visible, everything is shrouded in thick fog, only boats on the water stand out in dark green spots. Their distant silhouettes give a clear sense of the infinite depth of the sea.
Since the picture was painted from life, the artist had very little time to capture everything on canvas. This once again proves that Monet perfectly mastered the transfer of what he saw.