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Pierre Auguste Renoir / ピエール=オーギュスト・ルノワール

The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette (1876)


Pierre Auguste Renoir
Dance at Le Moulin de La Galette 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) 
《The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette》 (1876)

Canvas, oil painting, 131x175cm
Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Painting size: [A] 65x87cm [B] 131x175cm
Work code: RenDan

This work is Renoir's most important work and was featured at the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877.
It can be said that all the elements of the new style were concentrated in this single painting, including the modern life of the time, the bustling crowds, the sense of openness, the effects of light, rich colors, and flexible, quick brush strokes.
Renoir's friends and acquaintances appear in this painting, but the artist's purpose here was to convey the lively and joyous atmosphere of the popular outdoor dance halls on Montmartre Hill and the joy of everyday life. Ta.

At the time this work was painted, Montmartre was still just a suburb of Paris, and there were several windmills among the gardens and open spaces.
The Moulin de la Galette dance hall was located in a large warehouse between two windmills owned by the Debray family, but during the warmer months balls were held in the large adjoining garden. Ta.

In an outdoor dance hall where the sunlight filters through the acacia trees, men and women sing a youthful hymn full of joy and happiness in the flickering light.
Vibrant, brightly colored brushstrokes were used to observe the moving crowds bathed in natural and electric light.
It gives the impression of being an instantaneous, improvised painting of a scene of Parisians, but this instantaneousness is only superficial; Renoir spent an entire summer working on this work. Ta.

With his innovative style and imposing forms, he can be said to have applied Impressionist techniques to large-scale portrait composition. This is Renoir's most ambitious work, and is a masterpiece from the early Impressionist period, often appearing on the cover of the Musée d'Orsay guidebook.
The exhibition "Renoir Exhibition from the Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie" that came to Japan for the first time in 2016 included film footage that was set in the dance hall of the Moulin de la Galette at the time. The charm of the work became even more appealing in the atmosphere of not being able to see it.

The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette (1876)