Monet, "Impression: soleil levant (Impression: Sunrise)"

1873
Oil on canvas
19 x 24 3/8 in. (48 x 63 cm)
Musee Marmotton, Paris


"Monet later explained that he had selected for the exhibition a painting done in Le Havre from his window: the sun appearing in damp vapors, in the foreground a few shipmasts pointing. "I was asked to give a title for the catalogue; I couldn't very well call it a view of Le Havre. So I said: 'Put Impression.' Indeed, the painting was catalogued as Impression, Sunrise."
Rewald, "The History of Impressionism"

"The common view that brings these artists together in a group and makes of them a collective force within our disintegrating age is their determination not to aim for perfection, but to be satisfied with a certain general aspect. Once the impression is captured, they declare their role finished. The term Japanese, which was given them first, made no sense. If one wishes to characterize and explain them with a single word, then one would have to coin the word impressionists. They are impressionists in that they do not render a landscape, but the sensation produced by the landscape. The word itself has passed into their language: in the catalogue the Sunrise by Monet is called not landscape, but impression. Thus they take leave of reality and enter the realms of idealism."
[Jules-Antoine] Castagnary, Le Siecle, 29 April 1874

"I glanced at Bertin's pupil; his countenance was turning a deep red. A catastrophe seemed to me imminent, and it was reserved for M. Monet to contribute the last straw.

" 'Ah, there he is, there he is!' he cried, in front of No. 98. 'I recognize him, papa Vincent's favorite! What does that canvas depict? Look at the catalogue.'

" 'Impression, Sunrise.'

" 'Impression - I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it . . . and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape.'
Louis Leroy, Le Charivari, 25 April 1874