the opening, or first showing, of an art exhibit
Origin of vernissageFr, literally , varnishing (see varnish and -age): in allusion to the former practice of varnishing paintings before exhibiting
A private showing held before the opening of an art exhibition.
Origin of vernissageFrench varnishing, day before the official opening of an exhibition on which artists would varnish their paintings, vernissage from vernis varnish from Old French; see varnish .
From French vernissage, derived from the earlier habit of the artists to varnish their paintings the day before the opening of an exhibition.