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Claude Monet - The Rue Montorgueil, Paris - Celebration of June 30, 1878

The Rue Montorgueil, Paris - Celebration of June 30, 1878
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Print ref:(Price Code)Paper size:(W x H)Image size:(W x H)Medium:Collection:
GL269E2024 x 40 ins
60 x 102 cms
20 x 36 ins
50 x 90 cms
PaperLimited Editions50 signed
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Artist Biography
Claude MonetWhen the paintings of the Impressionists first appeared publicly in the 1870s, they created an entirely new type of exhibition picture; small, informal in composition, freely and spontaneously painted, showing everyday scenes treated in clear bright colour. More than any other single artist, Claude Monet was the creator of this new idea of painting.

Monet was born in Paris in 1840 but his family settled in Le Havre shortly afterwards, where the River Seine meets the sea, and his lifelong obsession as an artist was established. He met Boudin and Pissarro before completing a year's military service in Algeria in 1861. Monet was lucky in that his father recognised his artistic talents, bought him out of the army and sent him to Paris to study. Four years later he held his first exhibition at the Paris Salon and he had also met Renoir, Bazille and Sisley in Gleyre's studio, as well as establishing a friendship with Manet.

The 1870s saw a period of peaceful home life with his new wife and children whilst Monet contributed to the first Impressionist Exhibition. This tranquillity was shattered by his wife Camille Doncieux's death in 1879. Monet then spent the next decade travelling and painting. By the 1890s he had settled in Giverny and married Alice Hoschedé. Monet had also begun the construction of a water garden near his house. The turn of the century saw the Lily Pond series exhibited and, after his second wife's death in 1911, the Water Lily series. Monet died after the largest piece of work was completed in 1926.

Perhaps now the best-known painter of all time, Monet's paintings will be remembered for the harmonies of rhythm and brushwork, combined with the unifying effects of light and atmosphere in nature.
About this Piece
This Gouttelette Limited Edition print has been published with light-fast inks to BS1006 standard onto acid-free, calcium carbonate-buffered stock, mould-made from 100% cotton and sourced from environmentally-conscious paper suppliers.‘The Rue Montorgueil’ is often thought to depict a 14 July celebration. In fact it was painted on 30 June 1878 for a festival declared that year by the government celebrating "peace and work". This was one of the events organised for the third Universal Exhibition in Paris a few weeks after it opened, and intended to be a symbol of France’s recovery after the defeat of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. As well as demonstrating nationalist enthusiasm, the celebrations of 30 June 1878 were also an opportunity to strengthen the position of the Republican regime. It was two years later, in 1880, that 14 July was designated the French National Day.

This painting proposes a distanced vision of an urban landscape by a painter who did not mix with the crowd, but observed it from a window. The three colours of blue, white and red vibrating in Monet's painting are those of modern France.

The impressionist technique, with its multitude of small strokes of colour, suggests the animation of the crowd and the wavering of flags. The flags along Rue Montorgueil look fine when you first glance at the painting, but not if you look directly at them, or after you study the details carefully. This effect is called illusory conjunction. The painting’s spatial imprecision is not so noticeable at first because our own spatial imprecision allows illusory conjunctions to complete the objects. This explains why we see complete flags in the painting, even though many of them are just a single stroke of paint.