Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919): Le Moulin de la Galette
Oil on canvas | 65 x 85 cm | 1875-76
At the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, among many of the masterpieces of the Impressionists, hangs the picture Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, Montmartre by Renoir. At Ordrupgaard hangs the sketch for the famous picture.
Renoir sought to render a shimmering dynamism that could give the effect of direct, instantaneous sense impressions. But the actual painting process was not so transitory. He spent a long time preparing and completing the painting both on the spot and in the studio. Precisely this is a fascinating paradox in Impressionism: that the painter wants to represent the transient, but that the transience ceases when one captures it. So the transience is often embedded in the clear, abrupt brushstrokes and in the glints of light that Renoir in particular was a master of painting.
All these features have helped to create our present-day impression of modern city life as it unfolded in Paris in the second half of the 19th century.
Renoir is one of the principal figures of Impressionism. He is best known for his atmospheric paintings of the attractions of the dancing establishment Moulin de la Galette in Paris, and his monumental pictures of ample nude women in natural surroundings. The expression of the sensual is quite central to his work.
Motifs: Portraits, pictures of “modern life” in and outside Paris, landscapes and bathing women.
Read more about Renoir at the Musée d’Orsay’s website.