Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Claude Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” marked the beginning of a new genre of painting. Wildly popular among artists yet a cause for skepticism among critics, this new style called “Impressionism” sought to capture the fleeting effects of light on otherwise stationary subject matter. Utilizing a technique called imposto, the thick application of paint on canvas, paired with the plein air style, Monet captures the transient beauty of the sunrise over a French harbor in rapidly executed brushstrokes of contrasting color. Unlike traditional artists who paid close attention to detail and delivery, Impressionist painters focused more on the emotion their works evoked rather than customary methods. Although impressionism isn’t my favorite genre of all time, I love the fact that Monet was so willing to experiment with new techniques. His layering of colors on the water adds depth and movement, while the sun’s smoldering ascent into the morning sky adds a certain tranquility to the piece. Although what fascinates me the most is how even with the absence of detail and definition, colors that blend and bleed into each other so effortlessly, the viewer is still able to make out exactly what the artist is trying to convey. A fleeting moment, a snapshot, a frame of time that won’t last, captured so beautifully and instantaneously without the time to second guess.