Friday, January 6, 2012

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste

Bal du moulin de la Galette
oil on canvas
131 × 175 cm (51.6 × 68.9 in)
Musée d'Orsay

Renoir delighted in the people's Paris, of which the Moulin de la Galette near the top of Montmartre was a characteristic place of entertainment, and his picture of the Sunday afternoon dance in its acacia-shaded courtyard is one of his happiest compositions.  Young people from the north of Paris contributed in the dance-hall and in the courtyard behind it, every Sunday afternoon, in fine weather.

The girl in the striped dress in the middle foreground was said to be Estelle, the sister of Renoir's model, Jeanne. Another of Renoir's models, Margot, is seen to the left dancing with the Cuban painter, Cardenas. At the foreground table at the right are the artist's friends, Frank Lamy, Norbert Goeneutte and Georges Rivière, who in the short-lived publication L'Impressionniste extolled the Moulin de la Galette as "a page of history, a precious monument of Parisian life depicted with rigorous exactness. Nobody before him had thought of capturing some aspect of daily life in a canvas of such large dimensions."

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."
Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir and filmmaker Jean Renoir.