Impressionism: Claude Monet's Impressions of a Sunrise

The word 'impressionniste' was first used to describe Claude Monet and his group of artists when the word appeared in the Paris art publication the Charivari on April 25, 1874. Louis Leroy sneered that Claude Monet's painting "Impression Sunrise" was merely an impression with a brush, not a true work of painting. (Pioch, "Impressionism," 2004) Yet although the phrase "impressionist" was used in a derrogatory fashion to describe what would become a seminal landscape paintin of 20th century art, long after Leroy himself was forgotte, the painting "Impressions: soleil levant," (to use the French term) should not be seen merely as embodying the impressionist movement. It is also a unique work of the artist.

Art critic Robert Herbert has called Monet's work a deepening of Manet's previous, flatter renditions of aristocratic and suburban Paris. Rather than "modern," and extroverted in its style, like...
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