Impression, soleil levant — L’histoire vraie du chef-d’œuvre de Claude Monet


Painting, photography

Impression, soleil levant
L’histoire vraie du chef-d’œuvre de Claude Monet

Past: September 18, 2014 → January 18, 2015

“Impression, Sunrise”, the painting that gave the name to Impressionism and the flagship of the Musée Marmottan Monet is one of the most famous paintings in the world. The enigma of the history of this work has not yet had a comprehensive study. Instead, for nearly forty years, the mystery seems to grow around the masterpiece: What does the painting truly represent? A sunrise or sunset? When was it painted? In 1872 or in 1873? What happened to the painting at the end of the first Impressionist exhibition? Why did it join in 1940, the collection of the Musée Marmottan, an institution originally dedicated to the First Empire and which was home to no Impressionist paintings? Why this date, and under what circumstances? As part of the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Musée Marmottan and on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the first public exhibition of “Impression, Sunrise” the Musée Marmottan Monet decided to initiate the investigation and organize from September 18th, 2014 — January 18th, 2015, the first exhibition ever dedicated to the painting that founded Impressionism.

Claude monet le pont de leurope gare saint lazare 1877 medium
Claude Monet, Le Pont de l’Europe. Gare Saint‐Lazare, 1877 Huile sur toile — 64 × 81 cm Courtesy Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris / The Bridgeman Art Library

Around “Impression, Sunrise”, the exhibition presents a careful selection of twenty-six works by Claude Monet, as well as thirty-five works from Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Johan Barthold Jongkind, William Turner, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Stevens, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, old photographs by Gustave Le Gray, Emile Letellier, and a selection of historical documents, many of which have never been published. The works will be coming from some of the largest French museums (Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Musée d’art moderne André Malraux, Le Havre; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy…) as well as foreign (National Gallery, London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Francfort am Main; National Museum Wales, Cardiff) and private collections. The National Library, the historical library of the city of Paris, the Paris archives, the library and archives of Le Havre are also actively involved in the project.

Claude monet les tuileries 1876 medium
Claude Monet, Les Tuileries, 1876 Huile sur toile — 54 × 73 cm Courtesy Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris / The Bridgeman Art Library

The exhibition features 61 paintings and graphic works, including 26 works by Claude Monet and 45 documents mostly unpublished, from museums and private collections worldwide. It traces the journey of “Impression, Sunrise” and reveals a new page in history for this icon which until now has been entirely unknown.

Musée Marmottan Monet Museum
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2, rue Louis-Boilly

75016 Paris

T. 01 44 96 50 33 — F. 01 40 50 65 84

La Muette

Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Thursday until 8 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €10.00 — Concessions €5.00

Children under 7 : free admission

The artists

  • Claude Monet
  • Gustave Le Gray
  • Eugène Delacroix
  • Eugène Boudin
  • Johan Barthold Jongkind
  • Camille Pissarro
  • Alfred Sisley
  • Berthe Morisot
  • Gustave Courbet
  • William Turner
And 3 others…