15 01 2013

My French Quest

In 1882, Pierre-Auguste Renoir began a series of « dance » paintings. He had just returned from traveling across Europe visiting England, Algeria, Madrid, and Italy.  During his travels, he saw the masterpieces of Diego Veláquez, Titian, Raphael and other Renaissance paintings.

After returning to Paris, he lived and worked in Montmartre where he met Suzanne Valadon who would become one of his models.  Renoir began work on two large paintings that were to be exhibited together as a pair, “Dance in the City” and “Dance in the Country”. According to the Musée d’Orsay who owns the two paintings, “the elegant restraint of the city dancers and the cool ballroom around them contrasts with the gaiety of the country dance in the open air”. There are even contrasts in the cool colors for the city dance with the warmer colors he used in the country dance. However, they are similar in…

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