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In the Garden. Under the Trees of Moulin de la Galette

Painting, 1876, 81×65 cm
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Description of the artwork «In the Garden. Under the Trees of Moulin de la Galette»

One day in the early summer of 1876, Renoir sketched a ball at the Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre. This idea gave him no peace; he wanted to organize a big open-air not in the forest, among still trees, and not at the river, but in the thick of a crowded party. For this purpose, the artist settled in Montmartre for a whole summer, where quickly became a local celebrity, although the place was not so calm and trustworthy. Children here often were born without marriage, and while mothers worked and grandmothers were engaged in economy, the kids were left to themselves, dirty and hungry. Renoir gave them cookies, milk and handkerchiefs every day, and he sincerely worried about the abandoned babies: what if fire happens or a cat jumps in a cradle. He did not think about the morality of the neighbor girls, but used to admire their beauty, shining eyes and young skin, hair gathered up into a careless bun and sincere smiles.

The project looked rather desperate for shy Renoir: to find a dozen sitters, sit at a huge canvas right next to the dancing couples and repeat this trick every day. Nevertheless, everything was surprisingly easy to go: his artist friends agreed to be his male characters, and Renoir invented is own method to involve the local girls. He got acquainted with mother of a young beauty, asked her permission to paint her daughter and offered a fee for this work. Eventually, Montmartre mothers came to him and asked to paint their daughters, thus providing him more than enough models.

He painted In the Garden at the same time as the grand Ball in the Moulin de la Galette. The standing girl in the foreground, who turned her back on us, is the same girl that smiles at the table in the Ball... She wears the same striped dress with dark bows on her sleeves and waist. Renoir worked on this huge open-air painting Ball in the Moulin de la Galette all summer, while this picture is a quick, inspired impromptu. The pure joy of a sunny day and a carefree conversation. Accidentally formed motive and the opportunity to catch dancing flashes on tissues, faces, glasses, grass. Everything as Renoir loved: a painting without a plot or literary meaning, an impressionistic right to draw people and nature without any attempts to say anything more.
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1876

Size: 81×65 cm

Artwork in selections: 23 selections

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