His vitriol towards Monet made a good splash on the day, but very soon he found that his poisoned pen had not only failed to kill off Monet and his friends, but had in fact given birth to the most famous art movement to have existed since the Renaissance: Leroy gave Impressionism a name and an identity while at the same time diminishing the role of the art critic.
Monet’s painting of the harbour at Le Havre, the port in northern France where he had spent his childhood as the son of a grocer, is an evocative and charming example of Impressionism.
The scene shows a reddish-orange morning sun rising wearily from the sea and into the sky like an employee struggling out of bed on a miserable Monday in winter.
The fiery ball is not quite bright enough to burn off the foggy blue air that shrouds the sailing ships and rowing boats, but has sufficient energy to provoke the cold purple morning sea into producing a warming orange reflection on its surface not unlike a single heated bar on an electric fire.
Beyond that there is very little detail.
It truly is an impression of what the artist saw, possibly from the bedroom window of the house in which he was staying.
Much thanks to Will Gompertz’s book What Are You Looking At….some of the blog is directly taken from this fantastic book.