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Adolphe Monticelli, 'Sunrise', about 1882-4

Key facts
Full title Sunrise
Artist Adolphe Monticelli
Artist dates 1824 - 1886
Date made about 1882-4
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 27.9 × 41.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented as part of the 'Harry Wearne Collection of Twelve Paintings by Monticelli' to the Tate Gallery, 1939; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG5007
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Adolphe Monticelli

A bright yellow sun rises in the centre of the picture, beside a tree. Its vibrant colour stands out against the rest of the composition, which is darker in tone than its companion piece, Sunset, also in the National Gallery’s collection.

Both Cezanne and Van Gogh were admirers of Monticelli’s use of impasto (thickly applied paint), and the directional brushstrokes in his later work. This painting, which is typical of Monticelli’s late style, appears to have been painted outdoors. Cezanne and Monticelli were very good friends during the 1880s, and they often used to go off together to paint in the open air. It was perhaps during one of these outdoor sessions that Monticelli painted Sunrise, which is usually dated to about 1882–4.

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