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Claude Monet

A Cliff at Pourville in the Morning

Artist

Claude Monet
Paris 1840 – Giverny 1926

Title

A Cliff at Pourville in the Morning

Date

1897

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

65.8 x 100.5 cm

Credits

Purchase, John W. Tempest Fund, inv. 1918.126

Collection

Western Art

Claude Monet was one of the most important Impressionist painters. It was in fact one of his paintings, Impression, Sunrise of 1872 that inspired the critic Louis Leroy to label Monet and his fellow painters (Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley, among others) Impressionists. In the winter of 1897, Monet resided on the Normandy coast. During previous sojourns in the early 1880s, he had painted varied motifs; this time, he produced series, working on several canvases at once, at various times of day. He painted directly from nature, sheltered from the wind and exhilarated by the movement of the sea. Critic Gustave Geffroy, Monet’s biographer, wrote: “Vast skies rise from the water and breathe in the ocean mass: it is an exchange, a commingling, that results in an admirable unity.” He concludes his description of Monet’s pioneering technique as follows: “No one had yet perceived this distant painting, as if ‘within,’ that expresses the mists wandering on the cliffs of Dieppe, the cool and peaceful quiet of solitude.”

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