Claude Monet. Harbour of Le Havre, Night Effect. (1867).
From 1867 to 1880 Monet knows the darkest period of its life. In 1867, in prey with terrible financial difficulties, it east seizes, and 200 of its paintings are sold with the biddings by batches of 50 francs. Moreover it must face the incomprehension of the public and with the sarcastic remarks of criticism. However never it will not cease painting. Impossible to contemplate this painting of Claude Monet without thinking of a later work : Impression Raising Sun (1872) of the same artist but also at the Starlight Night on the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh. (1888). It is the same place of the harbour of Le Havre and the same prospect as Impression Raising Sun except that the moment is different. It is not the early morning with the rising of the sun they are effects of light seen the night. Magic of impressionism the forms and the matter dissolve in the light and the reflections so much so that the painting seems abstract whereas the abstract art does not exist yet. It is well this magic which subjugated certainly Vincent at the point to want to reproduce it in Arles in its Starlight night on the Rhone (1888). Here the painter does not reproduce reality, it integrates it and reinvents it, the painting is interpretation by the light and the colors of its emotions. It is new at that time and it neither is well included/understood nor not appreciated well yet.
The horizon is located one the higher third of the picture. The view of the witness is lower. The eye is irresistibly attracted by the coloured reflections of the light in the water.
The principal effects of lights and the reflections are organized on 3 natural points of interest. Especially on the lower hot line.
One the higher third of pictorial space is reserved for the sky, the 2 thirds lower than the sea.
Painting is built on the large ascending diagonal of left on the right. It puts in opposition the vertical lines of the masts to the horizontal lines of the sky of the sea and the ships.
One guesses the shape of a headlight on the right. The luminous points come from the ships but these is especially the reflections in water which dominate the composition.
The sky is cloudy, not star sign, just the gleam of the moon on the left of this dome gray-blue.
Insulated, this part of work seems an abstract painting where the reflections could become unstable and fugacious characters.
Light: The reflections in the water seem moving and move towards the witness from top to bottom.
Colors : Harmonize between cold colors.
Similars paintings :
Claude Monet : Impression Raising Sun. (1872).
Vincent Van Gogh : Starry Night over the Rhône. (1888).
Vincent Van Gogh : The Cafe terrace by Night. (1888).