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Astronomers say Monet’s ‘Sunset’ masterpiece was painted at 4:53 pm on February 5th, 1883

24
Jan
2014

Researchers from Texas State University have used forensic astronomy to uncover new details about Claude Monets Étretat: Sunset — a stunning seascape that the impressionist master painted during a trip to the Normandy coast in 1883. Their findings, published in the February 2014 issue of the magazine Sky Telescope, reveal the exact spot and time at which Monet painted the work, based on extensive fieldwork and astronomical data. Led by astrophysicist Donald Olson, the team traveled to the cliffs of Normandy in 2012, where they used postcard-size replicas of Monets works to identify the precise vantage point from which he painted Étretat: Sunset. Monet created a series of paintings during his three-week winter trip to the region, though Sunset is the only one that includes the low-setting sun, depicted to the right of a seaside cliff and needle-shaped rock formation.

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