Luncheon of the Boating Party Luncheon of the Boating Party is a European artwork painted in 1880-1881 by French Impressionist, Pierre Auguste Renoir. In traditional Impressionist style, Renoir depicted a scene from modern life and based it in a place he knew well - the Restaurant Fournaise. Chatou was one of Renoir's beloved settings and Luncheon of the Boating Party is a romanticized portrait of his friends enjoying a Sunday afternoon on the balcony of the restaurant. His intention was to take a normal scene and create a modern day party that portrayed the youth and beauty of his friends. The arrangement of Luncheon of the Boating Party represents a relatively new Impressionist movement as well as the changing character of French
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Seated with the glass to her lips is Angele, a well-known artist’s model (Boardingham 3). Renoir painted Luncheon of the Boating Party in stages over a series of several months using layers to depict the models and scenery. The figures used are made to dominate the composition, placed across the width and height of the canvas. The detailing of their faces, limbs, and clothing are rendered with a weight that contrasts with delicate, feathery strokes of color that Renoir is most noted for (Boardingham 4). Using a variety of warm and cool colors, Renoir establishes a tonal structure that unifies the elements of his complex painting (Boardingham 6).
For much of the twentieth century, French Impressionism was broadly defined as an art of objective, visual truth (Mancoff 1). Pictured are diverse classes gathered at the Maison Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, enjoy entertainment, or stay the night. The mixing of classes in the picture reflects the changing French social structure of the time as a result of the Industrial Revolution. This diverse group of rowers, women of higher social standing, working class women, waiters and upper class men embodies a new, modern society that continued to develop and advance the French Revolution’s promise of liberty, equality, and brotherhood (DeFur 7).
Renoir was one of the founders of Impressionism, alongside Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot, Guillemin,