Dr. Sarah LUK 陸秀霞博士

#18 – On Impression, Sunrise

Dear Students,


日出與日落是畫家最愛的題材,然而,能讓人留下深刻印象的莫過於Claude Monet的「日出」。1872年Claude Monet的「日出」終於面世,當時的Claude Monet已經患有眼疾,視力日漸衰退。人生就是這樣,畫家遇上眼疾,是諷刺還是磨練?是宿命還是機會?在視力模糊的日子,他仍舊在不同的時間站在同一個位置上觀察光、影落在海上、碼頭及環境的變化。他照着眼前所見的光、影及動態,用十分鬆散及熟練的筆觸繪出朦朧的日出,因為有這種堅持,後世才可以從他的畫作了解他的眼疾及畫作之間的微妙變化,而「日出」更被譽為印象派的代表作品。如果我是Claude Monet,眼前的光景由清晰變成朦朧,過往的色彩分明變得難以識別,如果事情不能逆轉,我可以像他這樣接受視力的限制,不放棄所學的知識及興趣嗎?有人說Claude Monet的印象派畫作,近看是模糊的,遠看卻變得清晰。是的,當人站在遠處回首昨天的遭遇時,或許能夠豁然開朗。

On Impression, Sunrise

Dawn and dusk are among the most commonplace subjects of paintings, yet we still can’t help being impressed by what Claude Monet managed to do in his “Impression, Sunrise”. The painting was finished in 1872 while the sight of Monet was declining. It’s as ironic as it could be. Was it a test for his fortitude or a chance disguised as predestination? With only a blurry vision, staying at the same spot, he kept observing the changes of light illuminating seas, piers and the surroundings at various phases of the daytime. Capturing with loose and skillful brushstrokes the light, shadows and movements in sight, he depicted blurring impressions of sunrise of his days. Indebted to his persistence,  the later generations have been blessed by the subtle interplay between his sight impairment and paintings exemplified by his “Impression, Sunrise”, the epitome of impressionism. If I were Monet, when what used to be clear become indistinct and colourful indistinguishable, could I accept, facing this irreversible twist of fate, the constraints on sight without letting go of what I have acquired and interested in? People say that the impressionist paintings of Monet are clear when viewed in distance and blurred when they are subject to scrutiny. Yes, it is true and not unlike when we look back, metaphorically in a distance, on what happened in the past: things become crystal clear! 

Further Reading:

Jesus Sousa, Cristina & Oliveira, Maria & Oliveira Gomes, Lucy. (2019). Cataract and chromatic expression in Monet’s work. https://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbof/v78n5/en_0034-7280-rbof-78-05-0304.pdf

Impression, Sunrise Painting by Claude Monet

Sarah Luk

Dean of General Education

Lee Woo Sing College

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