The Titlebar Archive: Dance at Le moulin de la Galette

Art  One of the highlights of visiting Paris, nearly ten years ago now, was being able to see Renoir's painting, Dance at Le moulin de la Galette, in the canvas at the Musee d'Orsay. There are few better evocations of the party atmosphere and friends enjoying other's company.

 The couple on the left of the section I've chosen for this title bar are one of my favourite in all of art, the way she's almost smugly address the viewer the adoring look of her dance partner, both drawing us into the painting which seems like a fitting choice for this week.

Smart History has a useful commentary for the painting from a couple of experts apparently standing in front of the real work. I'd urge you to reflect on this massive reproduction while listening, especially when they're discuss Renoir's use of light.

Renoir, Moulin de la Galette, 1876 from Smarthistory Videos on Vimeo.

Artble also has a typically detailed entry on the painting, including the unsurprising news that the work was not well received on its initial exhibition:
"This painting was first shown at the Impressionist exhibition of 1877 and demonstrated the original technique developed by Renoir. This canvas shows Renoir's friends, Frank Lamy, Norbert Goeneutte, and Georges Rivière gathered around the central table. Rivière, a writer who knew Renoir well at this time, wrote a review of Dance at le Moulin de la Galette in the journal L'Iimpressionniste which accompanied its exhibition. The writer referred to Dance at le Moulin de la Galette as a "page of history, a precious and strictly accurate portrayal of Parisian life. " Yet, others were not so kind. Many contemporary critics regarded this canvas as merely a blurred impression of the scene."
I wonder if their opinion changed when they realised this simply a new way of communicating rather than poor technique.

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