Monet: Impression Sunrise (National Gallery of Australia)

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Keren Rosa Hammerschlag Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Published in ABR Arts

Claude Monet, Haystacks, midday [Meules, milieu du jour], 1890, oil on canvas, 65.6 x 100.6 cm (Purchased 1979 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra)Claude Monet, Haystacks, midday [Meules, milieu du jour], 1890, oil on canvas, 65.6 x 100.6 cm (Purchased 1979 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra)

What makes this Monet exhibition different from any other Monet exhibition? This was the question at the forefront of my mind as I approached the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Monet: Impression Sunrise. As one would expect, it is an exhibition about painting – colour, brushstroke, the rendering of light and dark by artists who went out into the landscape and sought to capture in paint what they saw and felt. It is undeniable that Claude Monet was an innovative painter whose canvases will continue to enthral audiences. Attractively organised – note how the works in the room featuring Haystacks, midday (1890) are colour coordinated; mauve dominates – Monet: Impression Sunrise is a reminder of the pleasures that come from experiencing Impressionist canvases firsthand.

Monet: Impression, Sunrise is a show in two halves. On first entering the exhibition, one encounters paintings by artists associated with the British School. Works such as J.M.W. Turner’s Inverary Pier, Loch Fyne: Morning (c.1845), Whalers (boiling blubber) entangled in flaw ice, endeavouring to extricate themselves (exh.1846), and Stormy sea with dolphins (c.1835–40) anticipate Monet’s Impression, sunrise in terms of the rendering of light, flattening out of form, free application of paint, and innovative use of colour.

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Published in ABR Arts
Keren Rosa Hammerschlag

Keren Rosa Hammerschlag

Keren Rosa Hammerschlag is a Lecturer in Art History and Curatorship in the Centre for Art History and Art Theory in the School of Art & Design at the Australian National University. Following the completion of her PhD in Art History at the Courtauld Institute or Art, she undertook a three-year Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London. From 2013-2018 she taught in Art History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century painting, and the intersections between art and medicine during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. She is the author of Frederic Leighton: Death, Mortality, Resurrection (Ashgate / Routledge; 2015) and numerous articles on Victorian neoclassicism and medical portraiture. She is currently writing a book about the representation of racial difference and racial hybridity in Victorian painting.

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