This is a paragraph summary from Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World” Chapter 6, “The Changing World” subheading “Modern Beauty”, paragraph 2.
In this paragraph Mirzoeff references Claude Monet’s Impression: Sun Rising (1873). He describes it as “a painting that at once reveals and makes beautiful human environmental destruction.” (Mirzoeff 228). The pictures depicts the port of Le Havre; where Monet grew up. Small boats in the foreground and industrial buildings and chimney stacks in the background. Mirzoeff describes the painting as showing the yellow of a coal-polluted sunrise; but in a way that makes the destruction of the environment a beautiful thing. Essentially, the paragraph uses Monet as an example of the inadvertent way that artists made environmental destruction beautiful and naturalized these kinds of scenes, a theme that still pervades today.