The Soleil levant – one of the Claude Monet paintings that gave life to the Impressionism

It is a matter of great interest of art experts over the past decades, but an astrophysicist is convinced he has succeeded in establishing the exact date when Impressionism was born. The Impression painting, Soleil Levant, by Claude Monet, one of the most famous Claude Monet paintings, was the one that started the artistic trend in the late 1800s and was the subject of many debates. According to the calculations of the specialists, it was painted at 7:35 on November 13, 1872.

Painting is the main attraction of an exhibition at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris. We wanted to bring a tribute to this important painting. Much of its history was unknown. But with the techniques available now, we could find out new information, according to the director of the museum.

The Soleil levant
Donald Olson, professor of astrophysics at Texas State University, along with other experts, studied the entire context in which Monet accomplished the famous work and concluded that it was laid on canvas in the autumn of 1872. More specifically, the sun – as it appears in the Soleil Levant – was captured on the morning of November 13, at 7.35. The researchers analyzed geographically the port of Le Havre, which the painting illustrates, made astronomical calculations about sunrise and sea waves and gathered meteorological observations on the sea and sky of that time. Of course, they visited the port of Le Havre in order to better penetrate into the atmosphere of the place and study the surroundings more closely.

Scientists have concluded that, when the painting started, Monet was in a room on the third floor of the Hotel d’Amirauté au Havre. Look at this. Then, although there were voices who claimed that the work would actually illustrate a sunset, not a sunrise, Professor Olson firmly rejected this idea, guided by the sun’s position that rose eastward. Also, relying on astronomical information that shows the sun rising to the position of painting only a few times a year, Olson managed to make a list of 19 possible days in which the work could have been accomplished. Then, using some algorithms and tide-related information, the teacher and his team reduced the list to just two possible days. Of the two, one was removed, because it was a day in 1873, Monet signed the work “1872”. The remainder was November 13, 1872.

Professor Olson will present his comments in an essay to be published in the catalog of the Musée Marmottan Monet exhibition. The scientist and his team have given dates to numerous paintings over the last 25 years, including works by Vincent van Gogh or Edvard Munch.

The birth of Impressionsim
The first Impressionist exhibition took place in Paris in 1874. In an interview given in 1898, Claude Monet recalled how he gave his title to his famous paintings: “They asked me for a catalog title; I could not say a view of the port of Le Havre, so I said to them: Put Impressionism! That’s where Impressionism was born and jokes began to circulate on this name.”

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There would be at least two things that we can link to Claude Monet’s name. The first, essential: he was the founder of the Impressionist current in painting. Secondly, he remained in the history of art as the painter who loved the lilies the most, illustrating them in no less than 250 works! Perhaps not as present as the lilies, Monet’s storks are at least as hard to forget – red light spots on old, invaluable old cloths.

Claude Monet settled in Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris in 1871. He stayed there for seven years, a period of personal and artistic fulfillment for him. Near his house, he discovered and explored in color landscapes that made him adore outdoor painting. And who have stayed today in a series of superb works to admire in the great museums of the world.

The painting above, entitled “Coquelicots” (“Maci”), was made in 1873 and first exhibited a year later on Boulevard des Capucines in Paris in Nadar photographer’s former studio. Here, in 1874, the first Impressionist exhibition took place. Imported in oil on cloth, one can see a woman and a child – most likely historians say, it’s Monet’s wife, Camille, and their son, Jean.

Another know painting, Promenade, is a painting signed by Claude Monet in 1875. The painting is considered one of the most beautiful impressionist works for how the light of a summer afternoon and its effect on the characters and the landscape. The painting represents the painter’s wife and their child, going for a walk during a holiday at Argentueil. The most interesting is the angle of interest that gives the subject more importance, but the painting remains predominantly a landscape.

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