How young is too young to appreciate the work of the great French impressionist?
According to Canberra mum Afton Bell, her 18-month-old daughter Lucy Bell wasn't too small to love Claude Monet's work face-to-face.
The National Gallery of Australia is currently holding the exhibit Monet: Impression Sunrise, which includes the exhibit's namesake Impression, Sunrise never before displayed in the southern hemisphere.
"I like his colours. He's very calming," Ms Bell said. "I normally just bring the girls to the kid's section downstairs but this was a good excuse to come and see something a bit more mature."'
Ms Bell said it was important for children to be exposed to the arts more generally from a young age.
"That's why I bring the girls regularly," she said.
Ms Bell's mother, Vicki Gooda, said the gentleness of Monet's style was almost romantic.
"I just love his style and his work," Ms Gooda said.
Frances Hogan was in the gallery to see Monet up close for the first time.
"I'm here to look at the Water Lillies. I've seen a lot of TV shows about him," Ms Hogan said. "It's all cool, serene."
"He was just able to do it and no one else has been able to do it like that."
Visiting the gallery on the way to the ski fields from Sydney, Sheldon and Liz Pozniak said they always took the detour to see the gallery.
"Very beautiful," Mr Pozniak said. "When you sit back and look at it you can really take in the calmness."
Mrs Pozniak said the critics had shown disdain for Monet's work when it was first released.
"It's like who got the last laugh," Mrs Pozniak said. "Sadly, probably not in his lifetime."
The gallery would not provided attendance numbers since the exhibit opened on June 7, but a spokeswoman said the exhibit had seen "strong crowds" over the weekends.
The gallery is already home to Monet's Water Lillies and Haystacks, midday 1890 but the arrival of Impression, Sunrise is a first on this side of the world.
It's normally housed in the Musée Marmottan in Paris, which holds the largest collection of the impressionist's work.
The museum's scientific director Marianne Mathieu previously told The Canberra Times it was important for people to experience Monet up close.
"It is very rare to send it on the road and usually it only leaves for one month, so having it here in Canberra for three months is exceptional," Ms Mathieu said.
[It is] very beautiful. When you sit back and look at it you can really take in the calmness.Sheldon Pozniak
The exhibit also holds work from other impressionists, including Euge Boudin and JMW Turner, who inspired Monet.
Gallery director Nick Mitzevich said Monet: Impression Sunrise was about creating a narrative.
"Monet is a subject that Australian art has loved," Mr Mitzevich said.
- Monet: Impression Sunrise will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia until September 1, 2019.