Today, we view this celebrated painting by Claude Monet as a convincing depiction of a bustling Paris boulevard as it might appear from high above, seen through the cold, damp air of winter. Typically Impressionist are the blue shadows and bold, individual brush strokes used to indicate pedestrians whose forms become blurred in motion. In the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874, where either this painting or another similar version was exhibited, such marks were described by a critic accustomed to precise outlines and controlled brushwork as "black tongue-lickings." Most of the general public agreed. The pink dabs of paint at center right in the painting are hard to identify but are most likely balloons.