Celebration of June 30, 1878

Claude Monet

TitleCelebration of June 30, 1878
ArtistClaude Monet
Paper Size (W x H)24 x 40 ins
Edition Size50
Price £1,900.00

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‘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.

The print is hand numbered and accompanied by a certificate signed by the Master Printer and bearing a matching number to the print.

About the Artist

Claude Monet

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.

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