Claude Monet Rouen Cathedral, the Portal, Morning Effect
In 1895 Durand-Ruel exhibits twenty of Monet's fifty canvases showing the cathedral of Rouen, arranging them so as to form a sequence running from dawn to dusk. Echoing the musical titles so dear to Whistler, Monet gives the series a subtitle: Harmony in Blue and Gold. The paintings attract a good deal of ferocious negative criticism from several journalists, in response to which, on May 20, 1895, writing in the magazine Justice, the critic Georges Clemenceau defends the paintings and claims that they can be divided into four distinct pictorial moments characterized by the prevalence of a single color or effect: gray, white, iridescent, and blue.
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