First Impressions

Scene 1: Their eyes met across a crowded room. Not a word was spoken. But somehow they knew, there was more in store for them.

Scene 2: She sat nervously in a really cold conference room when he entered and asked her warmly “Tea?” All fear left her when she realized this was where she belonged.

Scene 3: They wandered out of the airport with wonder filled eyes. New York was more than they could have ever imagined.

Scene 4: She was a menacing old woman sitting outside the subway. The little boy glanced at her as he passed her by and ran towards his mother, instantly grasping her hand.

Various scenarios, one moment of truth. The first time you look at someone and instantly decide if you’d ever want to see them again. The magic of first impressions? There’s no going back!

Scene 5: We walked around the palatial gallery of the most renowned personal collection of art. Marveling the exquisiteness of each piece, getting transported into another era. But something was missing. Something larger than life. As we made our way to the exit, I stopped. Something had caught my attention; it was drawing me towards it. “This is it!” She said, “Impressionism at its best. It has to be a Monet!” And a Monet it was!




  1. a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and colour.

o    a literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction.

Soaking in some of their best works from Monet’s “The Thaw at Vétheuil”, “The Water Lily Pond” to Renoir’s “Wheatfield” a whole new world opened up to me. A sudden realization of the form of art in the art of life; how impressionism as a form of art, impacts the way we look at life. A flashback of memories, some almost crystal clear but never quite the regeneration, giving a sense of reality, but not completely.

Claude Monet, the undisputed leader of the Impressionists, spent his childhood in the French town of Le Havre, where he began to paint landscapes of the Normandy coast. After studying for a short period at the Académie Suisse in Paris, he took up plein air painting as a self-taught artist, striving to study the effects of light and time on nature.

He and Auguste Renoir were the first artists to use the loose brushstrokes characteristic of Impressionism.

We walked out in a stupor. An experience of a lifetime. The first impression of impressionism. An everlasting one!

©Nazneen Dharamsey, 2016. All rights reserved.

The Albertina. Vienna, Austria. September 2016.

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