Sun-drenched couples whirl in a dance, the combs chatter and drink, the girls languidly gaze at the gentlemen. A typical summer evening in a restaurant in Montmartre "Moulin de la Galette". In the mid-1870s, Renoir lived in the area and often went to the zucchini. Then he met his good friends, future models, and just interesting characters.
And once, excited by the next such evening, the artist decided to write all honest company. And from nature. To capture such a multi-figured composition on a canvas, Renoir worked all summer of 1876. He diligently came to the restaurant at three o'clock and until six he wrote, without being distracted by a glass of bordeaux or by talking to friends.
Here and dancing, here and feast. And everything is flooded with light. Actually, for his sake, light, Renoir and sat for many hours in the open air. Of course, it would be easier to make sketches, and then collect everything in the workshop. But it would have lost the very atmosphere for which he loved Montmartre. The light, on which Renoir worked so carefully, does not strike in the eyes, but as if dancing together with the Moulin de la Galette regulars.
The faces of only a few characters are well written, the rest are rather schematic. You can’t make everyone every summer day come to the same place in the same costumes and dance. But the friends who already spent a lot of time in Montmartre - completely. For example, three friends of the author sit at the table: Fran-Lamy, Genette and Georges Riviera. Among the dancers you can find the painter Henri Gervais, the journalist Paul Lot, the artist Frederick Corday.
Invited the master and specially selected models. For example, 16-year-old seamstress Margot Legrand dances in a peach dress to the left in a picture. None of the friends of Renoir did not understand why the artist loves to write this nondescript little girl, who was not distinguished by subtlety of features or sophistication of manners. But Renoir saw differently, and more than once wrote Legrand (which, by the way, died of typhoid fever in 20 years).
The tall, spick and span dressed gentleman in the top hat with whom she dances is a Cuban painter of Spanish origin, Don Pedro Vidal de Solares y Cardenas.
Two young girls in the foreground in the center of the picture are seamstresses too: sisters Zhanna (in dark blue) and Estelle (in striped). Estelle does not have a high hairstyle for nothing - Renoir wanted to write the girl's ears, which he found beautiful.
The restaurant "Moulin de la Galette" was equipped in the premises of the old mill. The dance hall was located in a wooden shed, painted in a bright green color. In good weather, the dancers went out into the courtyard, where benches and tables stood in a circle.
"He settled there for half a year, made friends with all the little world there and his special life, which no model would have conveyed, and, having gotten into the atmosphere of this popular zucchini, with a stunning uplift, portrayed the reckless turmoil there." So described the life of Renoir, his brother Edmond.
The premiere of Bala was held at the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877. The canvas hung unnoticed. Some of the critics threw a couple of phrases about the strange light in the picture - supposedly people seem to be flat and careless. But mostly, ignore.
The canvas was noticed 20 years later, when other lovers of Montmartre and its cereal institutions - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso - began to create variations on the theme of Renoir. Today this picture is one of the most famous and expensive. For millions of dollars in his time were sold a copy of it, made by Renoir himself, as well as sketches.
The fate of the artist
Pierre Auguste Renoir lived a long and generally prosperous life. He was born in the family of a tailor in a provincial town. Especially you will not earn there, and Renoir moved to Paris. Already in childhood Auguste manifested a talent for art: he sang and danced beautifully. The second brought both joy and money, so Pierre Auguste began to study painting.
In his youth, Renoir spoke with Sisley, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro. Together they created the Anonymous Cooperative Partnership in 1872. Alas, their ideas are not understood. The first exhibition in 1874 failed. Young authors were called offensive at that moment by the nickname "Impressionists."
Accidentally or not, but while Renoir was an active participant in the partnership, fame somehow did not come and did not come to him. Gradually, he moves away from them, does not participate in the exhibitions of the partnership ... and voila! He begins to notice wealthy collectors. The subsequent expositions of Renoir take place with a large concourse of enthusiastic admirers of his talent and government officials who did not spare him the title of Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor.
Renoir wrote until the last days. Even rheumatism and paralysis could not contain his passion. Despite the fact that Renoir was confined to a wheelchair, he continued to write with a brush, which the nurse put between his fingers.
Pierre Auguste Renoir reposed at the age of 78, being a recognized genius, a kind family man and a worthy Frenchman.