The Impression of Art

It all started, they say, by a journalist of Charivari in 1874.
But the picture that suggested the name, Monet’s portrayal
of the harbor at Le Havre, christened by the artist
"Impression Rising Sun" was painted in 1872!!

It’s not so much the "Water lilies at Giverny"
as the point of order according to Monet
that bits of light and paint, frills and knots of color

aligned in dots and specks, ridges and furrows,
transform the blobs and trails of blurry shapes into
water-lilies, jonquils, wisteria and weeping willows.

I stand wide-eyed at the precise moment caught,
in the juxtaposition of pure colors on canvas that
combine only in the beholder’s enchanted eyes.
Purity of form, full in expression, of dynamic brilliance
to counteract the confused paleness of my own memoir.

Fleeting transformations of skies, waters, trees and grass
captured in the hazy landscapes of Ile-de-France.
Of skies filled with shifting clouds, the shimmering
reflections on the flowing rivers of the Seine and Oise.

Radiant faces of Renoir’s women, living in paradise….
Naked bodies dissolving in the penetrating light,
and faces which express nothing but the artless
pleasure of living in a world of soft, intense light.

Jubilant are the colors of Van Gogh’s flowers….
But my favorite is "Café De Nuit". In red and green
he deliberates the terrible passions of mortal beings.
I like his dramatic landscapes … panoramas of a threatening sky,
and fields shuddering with anxiety, whipped by vicious winds.

Fleeting impressions are somehow imprinted….
captured in the artful strokes on the canvas,
woven into the fabric of my imagination….
These cobblestones, these streets, down over the
avenues, boulevards, bridges and quays of Seine
I know from a hundred years ago.
A long lost memory of a stroll with a lover,
among the trees beside the flowing Seine,
arm in arm holding an umbrella in a distant city….

Mita Das is a scientist, an artist, a poet and a mother. She spent a decade studying air pollution and acid rain before turning her interests to social entrepreneurship and being a full time mom.

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