Impressionism In France

     Towards the later half of the nineteenth century, many artists were pursuing new
avenues in their artistic representations. They were perturbed at the rigid and
constricting regulations of the Salon, and some artists decided to form and
independent exhibition. Cluade Monet and his friends founded the Société
anonyme de artistes, etc. . . and continued to pursue an alternative to the

Salon. On April 15th, 1874 this group of artists held their own show that
directly challenged the authority of the Salon. Eventually, Monet and his
colleagues became known as the Impressionists which stems from one of his works
that was displayed at the first show, Impression, Sunrise. This painting was
hardly recognized at the primier exhibition, but has since become a very
significant work. Monet had just returned to Paris after the end of the

Franco-Prussian War, and he felt that the country was in desperate need of a
resurgence of nationalism. His painting, Impression, Sunrise, is a landscape of
the avant-port of Le Havre which was the second largest port in France. The
depiction of a richly commercial location can be interpreted as patriotic ode to
a revitalized France. "It shows a site that all Frenchmen would have been
proud of and seems to celebrate the renewed strength and beauty of the country.
. ." (Tucker 157). This canvas testifies to the city’s economic and
commercial prowess through innovative techniques that possess a sense of
renewal. These new methods of rendering an image became the backbone for a new
art movement, Impressionism. In conclusion, Claude Monet and his comrades were
pioneers in the field of art. Their antagonistic views of the traditional Salon
led to new ground-breaking techniques for representing an image on a canvas.

Their paintings at the first Impressionist Exhibition of 1784 contained sketchy
renderings and an unfinished feel which left some critics looking for more. In
contrast, a number of critics praised the Impressionists for their bold triumph
of a new art that embodied the rejuvenated land of France. A new art movement
for a new France that began with the painting Impression, Sunrise.