Boy with a Cat
Study: Torso, Sunlight Effect
The English Pear Tree
Road Rising into Deep Grass
What was Le Moulin de la Galette?
In 1855, a dance hall was opened at the base of two defunct windmills atop the hill Montmartre in northern Paris. The hall’s name derived from these windmills (moulins) and the popular flat round cakes (galettes) made from flour and milk. On Sundays, a ball would be held in the hall’s garden from three in the afternoon until midnight. According to son Jean’s memoir Renoir, My Father, Renoir personally hosted a ball at Le Moulin de la Galette to raise money to build a day nursery after seeing local children left unattended in the daytime by their working mothers.
Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette
Here we see young men and women merrily dance and chat at a Montmartre dance garden in a single snapshot that superbly captures the joy of people at leisure, their resplendent attire, and the light that gently envelops them. The combination of everyday life with nuanced brushstrokes that sublimely recreate sunbeams playfully streaming through leaves make this painting one of the greatest masterpieces of Impressionism. Unsurprisingly, it electrified the Parisian art scene when it was presented at the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877, along with The Swing.
Models include local girls and artist friends
The girl sitting on a bench in the center is Estelle, a girl who worked for a Montmartre tailor, and the one leaning over her is her older sister, Jeanne, who also served as a model for The Swing (chapt. 4-1). And, the model for The Reader (chapt. 2), Margot, is dancing in a pink dress, to the left. Her partner and the young men surrounding the table in the foreground were friends with Renoir. The young man wearing a straw boater at the far right is Georges Rivière, a critic who championed Impressionism and lavished praise upon this painting, declaring, “It is a page of history, a monument of Parisian life portrayed with rigorous accuracy. No one before Renoir had conceived of capturing an aspect of daily life on such a large canvas.”
Dance in the Country
Dance in the City
Seated Female Nude or The Toilette
Paint Box and Palette
Julie Manet or Child with a Cat
The Clown (Portrait of Coco)
Bouquet in a Loggia
Girls at the Piano
Yvonne and Christine Lerolle at the Piano
Gabrielle with a Rose
Reclining Nude (Gabrielle)
Large Nude or Nude on Cushions
Pierre Auguste Renoir et Richard Guino(1890-1973)
The Water or The Large Crouching Washerwoman