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Pierre-Auguste Renoir | Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir remains the best known and most popular work of art at The Phillips Collection, just as Duncan Phillips imagined it would be when he bought it in 1923.
The painting captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir's friends share food, wine, and conversation on a balcony overlooking the Seine at the Maison Fournaise restaurant in Chatou. Parisians flocked to the Maison Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, or stay the night.
The painting also reflects the changing character of French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The restaurant welcomed customers of many classes, including businessmen, society women, artists, actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls. This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian society.

Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Year: 1880-1881
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 129.9 cm × 172.7 cm (51 in × 68 in)
Location: The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1923

Renoir seems to have composed this complicated scene without advance studies or underdrawing. He spent months making numerous changes to the canvas, painting the individual figures when his models were available, and adding the striped awning along the top edge. Nonetheless, Renoir retained the freshness of his vision, even as he revised, rearranged, and crafted an exquisite work of art.
Luncheon of the Boating Party includes youthful, idealized portraits of Renoir's friends and colleagues as they relax at the Maison Fournaise restaurant. Wearing a top hat, the amateur art historian, collector, and editor Charles Ephrussi speaks with a younger man in a more casual brown coat and cap.
He may be Ephrussi's personal secretary, Jules Laforgue, a poet and critic.

At center, the actress Ellen Andrée drinks from a glass. Across from her in a brown bowler hat is Baron Raoul Barbier, a bon vivant and former mayor of colonial Saigon. He is turned toward the smiling woman at the railing, thought to be Alphonsine Fournaise, the proprietor's daughter.
She and her brother, Alphonse Fournaise, Jr., who handled the boat rentals, wear straw boaters. They are placed within, but at the edge of, the party. At the upper right, the artist Paul Lhote and the bureaucrat Eugène Pierre Lestringuez seem to be flirting with actress Jeanne Samary.
In the foreground, Renoir included a youthful portrait of his fellow artist, close friend, and wealthy patron, Gustave Caillebotte, who sits backwards in his chair and is grouped with the actress Angèle and the Italian journalist Maggiolo.
Caillebotte, an avid boatman and sailor, wears a white boater's shirt and flat-topped boater. He gazes at a young woman cooing at her dog. She is Aline Charigot, a seamstress Renoir had recently met and would later marry. | © The Phillips Collection.

La colazione dei canottieri /Le déjeuner des canotiers, è un dipinto a olio su tela (129,5 x 172,5 cm) realizzato tra il 1880-1881 dal pittore Francese Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Fa parte della Phillips Collection di Washington.
Il dipinto rappresenta un pranzo al ristorante La Fournaise a Chatou, un villaggio sulla Senna, frequentato abitualmente dai canottieri.
La scena è ambientata nella veranda del locale, dove quattordici personaggi, tutti amici del pittore (tra cui la futura moglie, Aline Charigot, la donna con il cane), discorrono amabilmente fra loro dopo aver mangiato assieme.
L'attenzione dell'artista si concentra molto sui colori, che formano i volumi e la prospettiva tramite la giustapposizione di toni caldi e freddi, chiari e scuri, primari e complementari.
Gli avanzi del pasto sul tavolo appaiono come una complessa natura morta: Renoir si prese la libertà di dipingere frutta tipicamente autunnale che contrasta con il periodo estivo in cui è ambientata la scena.
La composizione è studiata: Renoir inserisce le figure nello spazio della terrazza, chiusa da una balaustra e da esili strutture di ferro che sorreggono una tenda; la tavola scandisce il taglio diagonale dell'immagine e conferisce profondità. Benché non vi siano contorni, le figure emergono chiare e distinte, acquistano una solidità e una determinatezza più classica. Il motivo della balaustra che divide i personaggi dalla vegetazione è ricorrente nelle opere ambientate a Chatou che Renoir esegue in questi anni. | © Wikipedia