Art history formal analysis Renoir luncheon
Year or Time Period Completed: 1881 4. Medium/Technique/Process used: Oil on Canvas 5. Size: 51 ex. in. 6. Where Produced: The balcony of the Mansion Fairness, Chateau, France and nearby studio of Augusta Renoir. 7. Where located/housed: Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington, DC. Part Ill – Objective Description of the Art Objects Subject Matter: The subject matter of the painting consists of a group of people assembled on an outside deck that has a wooden railing and a red and white striped canopy. The deck is surrounded by marsh grass and some trees with a river visible beyond them.
Upon he river a few boats can be seen, one of them a sailboat. In the immediate foreground there’s a square table with a white tablecloth on which rests several empty wine glasses with apparent red wine residue. A few plates are also visible with fluted glasses upon them, discarded morsels of food and silverware can also be seen. A centerpiece dish of fruit composed of Grapes and pears is flanked by several bottles of red wine. A few discarded white cloth napkins have been casually cast among the dishes. Seated to the left of center at the table in the foreground is a young woman wearing straw hat with a red flowered hat band.
She wears a fine black dress with white lace edging at the neck and cuts, a dark red scars draped over neck and down the front of the dress. She wears a black choker around her neck. She’s holding a small brown furred dog close to her face from under its forelegs the dog sits upright upon the table facing her. Behind her to the left standing and leaning with his backside against the wooden railing of the deck, his right arm gripping the railing stands a large man, his face in profile as he looks to the right and slightly back.
He wears a dome shaped straw hat with the brim curved upwards its edge trimmed in blue. He has close cropped reddish brown hair and has a full beard and mustache of the same color. He wears a white tank top shirt and white pants. To his right along the railing several feet behind the foreground table stands a woman bent forward, her left arm and right elbow resting upon the railing as she faces the table. She wears a straw hat with a blue hat band the brim curved down. Her dresses is off white and trimmed in red that the neck and cuffs.
Facing her with his back to the table sits a man wearing a brown suit and a brown and bowler hat. Behind the woman at the railing at the far left corner of the deck facing forward stands a man rearing a brown Jacket with a light blue shirt wearing a cap. Facing him standing with his back to the viewer facing left is a man wearing a black overcoat and a black top hat with a beard. In the right foreground seated facing the table on a wooden chair that is turned backward is a man who looks left toward the railing of the deck, his face in profile. He faces the woman seated opposite him who holds the dog.
He is wearing a straw hat with a flat top and black hatband its brim turned up at the back. He has brown hair and a light brown short mustache. He wears a white tank top shirt ND dark colored pants. His arms rest forward on the reversed chair back; in his right hand he holds a cigarette. To his right seated at the table is a woman wearing a white brimless hat with a few blue stripes. Her dress is blue with white ruffles trimmed in red at the neck and white cuffs. Her hair is brown a small round earring can be seen hanging from her right ear as she looks up and to the right.
Standing behind her over her left shoulder is a man wearing a cream colored Jacket with wispy blue stripes. He wears a white shirt and a black cravat. His hair falls over his forehead and is reddish brown. He has a small mustache and a goatee beard. He is leaning over the woman’s shoulder with his hand resting on the back of her chair, looking down at her. Behind him in the background over his left shoulder is a woman standing facing left, with black gloved hands raised to the sides of her face. She wears an ornate black hat with feathers and a black dress.
Standing next to her with his arm around her is a man with a straw hat with a red hat band, wearing a red and white striped shirt. He faces forward looking at her intently. To his right stands another man facing the woman he has his arm around. This man has a full beard ND wears a black hat. Behind him seated at the back table is a woman in a flowered straw hat who is drinking from a glass, she looks directly out of the picture plane past the table in the foreground at the viewer. A man seated to her left is barely visible in profile and past the shoulder of the man in the cream colored Jacket.
The entire scene is brightly lit with ambient light from the open sides of the porch the majority of which were enters from the front left of the picture plane. The white tablecloth on the table in the foreground glows with reflected light and the glasses and bottles on he table twinkle in the light. Part IV – Examination to the Art Objects Medium/Technique/Process Used The medium used is this painting by Renoir is oil on canvas. The work was painted en plain air (outside) utilizing the all prima (wet on wet) technique and also the classical layering technique of oil painting employed by the old masters.
In these processes the first step would require the preparation of a surface on which to apply the oil paint. A linen canvas would be stretched around a wooden frame and tacked into place. The surface of the canvas would then be protected from the acidic ululates of the oil paint by applying layers of rabbit skin glue and chalk known as a ground. Next a primer of white lead paint or glue mixed with chalk “geese’ is added to provide a base layer for the painting. A rough outline of the scene would then be sketched onto the canvas as a guide for painting.
Next the creation of a palette from which to paint from would require selecting the proper pigments. (Stalked pig. 234) For the portions of this work that were painted en plain air in the all prima technique in the Impressionist style such as the tableware in the foreground Renoir would have used portable tubes of pigmented mint. Other portions that were executed in his studio employed classical oil painting techniques of layering colors and then glazing which creates a lustrous glow and provides the three dimensional quality of modeling.
This technique is evident in the modeling of the forearm and the hand holding the cigarette of the man seated at the table in the right foreground. Colors would then be applied to their proper regions according to the sketch starting with the darkest and ending with the lightest, a mosaic upon which the details and highlights could then be painted. Finally upon implosion the painting would be sealed with a varnish to protect its surface. (Sanders pig. 11) Part V Examination of the Art Objects Composition (its Form Organization): 1 .
Identify and describe a specific incidence of composition from the list found below: A. Line: Renoir uses a sharp clean line to define the arm of the man seated at the table in the right foreground. The precise outline of the arm adds to the contrast of color between the arm and the man’s white shirt, the white tablecloth, and chair adding perceived depth to the shape of the arm. In contrast Rennin’s use of line in creating he marsh grasses outside the balcony is loose and diffused, giving the grass a perceived movement and depth.
B. Shape: The semi circular shape of the awnings scalloped edge is distorted into curving points giving the illusion that the awning is swaying in the breeze adding a sense of movement to the air that is picked up by the grasses beyond it. C. Space: The open space left of center, framed by the two men in white tank tops allows for an unobstructed view of the landscape beyond providing perspective and contrasts the densely populated right side of the picture adding to the intimacy of the assembled group.
This open space also directs the viewer gaze to the centerpiece of the table which is the symbolic heart of this painting. D. Color: Applications red are spread about the painting accenting the amorous qualities of the subjects depicted Most evident in the women in varying protrusion and intensity the color red highlights the garments at the cuffs and necks, in the flowers they wear on their hats, and on their lips. Although more subtle, accents of red are present on the men as blushes to their face or on their lips. The most overtly amorous male in the right to the back wears a shirt and hat both striped with red.
The most overtly sexual female seated, at the table in the left foreground has red tracing her neck and an explosion of red in the flower on her hat. Finally the red striped awning with its tong like flaps covers the entire flirtatious scene. E. Texture: Renoir employs variations in color, shadowing, and white highlights to render the textural appearance of the straw hat worn by the man seated at the table in the right foreground. F. Pattern: The diffused lines of blue/green create a layered pattern in the marsh grasses outside the porch rendering the effect of overlapping leaves with combined density.
G. Time and Motion: The motion in this painting is imparted by the marsh grasses and awning gently swaying in the breeze. The aspect of time slowly passing is expressed through the sailboats gliding along the river and in the leisurely poses of the subjects along the railing. 2. At the end of this set of paragraphs identify any art elements you think is not found or used in the art objects composition. Renoir has not employed any elements of economy to simplify his representation in this painting. 3.
Identify and describe specific incidence of each art visible used in the art objects composition. A. Balance: The painting is asymmetrically balanced. The central axis around which this painting is balanced is the vertical bar that supports the awning at the back. The darker and densely populated right side of the painting lie close to the center line and is balanced by a few larger lighter colored subjects and open space that comprise the left side of the painting. B. Emphasis and Focal Point: The focal point of this painting is the still life upon the table in the foreground.
The painting radiates outward from its center, and the open space above it directs the viewers gaze toward it. The colors that comprise the still life are echoed throughout the painting. The reflected light from the tablecloth beneath it illuminates the scene from within. Symbolically the still life represents the leisurely enjoyment of the entire scene. C. Scale and Proportion: The scale of this painting is monumental (51 in x 68 in) when compared to the smaller portrait paintings that characterized Rennin’s earlier works; its size reflects the importance of the work to the artist.
Proportionally the painting represents the subjects in the foreground larger than those toward the back providing perspective. D. Repetition and Rhythm: The repetition of straw hats directs the viewer’s eye through the various interactions of flirtatious glances by the subjects, and provides a rhythm to the positions and lines of sight for the subjects wearing them. E. Unity and Variety: Unity is achieved through the repetition of a variety colors and shapes in the painting. The repetition of the subject’s faces with their interconnected lines of sight combines them together as a whole.
The many colors in the bowl of fruit on the table are represented throughout the painting pulling the painting towards this centerpiece. The accents to red and yellow colors dispersed through the painting also serve to unify the composition. 4. At the end of this set of paragraphs identify any Art Elements that you think is not found or used in the art objects composition: None were noted. Part VI – The Art Object’s Historical Data of its Cultural and Time Period: The economic and social conditions in Paris underwent drastic changes during the mid sass’s.
These changes were primarily a result of the industrialization and subsequent arbitration of Paris which dramatically increased the working class population of the city. In France the number of steam engines used for industry or locomotion increased from 600 in 1830 to 4,853 in 1847 and the kilometers of railway increased from 2,000 10th,OOH (Heywood pig. 25). This industrial revolution which was concentrated in urban areas of production like Paris led to the demise of the craftsman or artisan class, and widened the gulf between the wealthy bourgeoisie and the poor working class (Plisses pig. 8). The arbitration of Paris led to many of the problems associated with this phenomenon, especially where the working class lived. Poverty, crime, poor sanitation, lack of adequate water supply, and overcrowding made for a poor standard of living for working class and poor(Plisses pig 13). An economic depression in 1847-1848 increased the misery of the working lass, inciting a popular uprising that led to the dissolution of the Second Republic (Stearns pig. 491). He bourgeoisie fearing this political climate would foster radical socialist reforms depriving them of their property chose to support Louis Napoleon’s appointment in 1852 by the senate and plebiscite as the next emperor of France an attempt to stabilize the country under The Second Empire. (Plisses pig. 125). This new empire made economic reforms to appease the working class by decontaminating unions and some forms of labor strikes as well as establishing free trade practices and abolishing the tax on grain.
Public works projects to rebuild Paris and provide the city with an adequate water supply and proper sewage removal were begun after a cholera epidemic swept through Paris in 1853 (Stearns pig. 492). In addition, many buildings, parks, open squares, and centers for leisure and commerce were created. New roads and wide boulevards that traversed the city were laid down to ease congestion and to prevent anti government blockades of important supply routes. As a result of this work many traditional communities and meeting places of the working class and poor were destroyed.
State approved structures that served similar reposes as old city structures were designed to further the bourgeoisie goal of control over the lesser classes, most notably the renovation of the old Hales Market in the center of Paris, which had been epicenter for numerous popular uprisings in the past. (Thompson pig. 87) The forced relocation of the vast majority of the working class and poor through these civic projects increase the physical and social divide between social classes. (McGee pig. 88) During his reign Napoleon Ill sought glory and prosperity through aggressive towering policy but stutters repeated detests Napoleon Ill is compelled to eek a diplomatic solution to his military support of the English in the Crimean War in 1855 after his army suffers 63,000 casualties out of 400,000 a majority of which were due to malnutrition, disease, and exposure. Napoleon Ill defeat in the 1859 War of France and Piedmont against Austria results in the annexation of Savoy and Nice. In July of 1871 France declares war on Prussia and is defeated by August.
On September first Napoleon Ill surrenders seeking an armistice, but is captured causing the overthrow of his empire, as the Prussian army laid siege to Paris. By January the itty had run out of food and a peace treaty was negotiated by the newly elected national assembly of the Third Republic, with France agreeing to the cession of Lace and part of Lorraine and payment of five billion Francs in reparations. In March of 1870 the Communal uprising in Paris tries to seize power of the country but is put down by the armies of Versailles who executed 25,000 and imprisoned another 36,000 to restore order. Stearns pig. 492, 493) The Catholic Church strove to reestablish its influence in France during the mid asses and in 1862 confirmed the miracle of Lourdes where Barnett Subgroup claimed that SST. Mary repeatedly appeared to her, pilgrimages to the site soon followed. The church was financially supported by the second empire of Napoleon Ill, but in 1880 the Third Republic enacted laws to regularity the church in France which led to the dispersion of the Jesuit order and limited religious teaching institution(Stearns pig 493).
Technological advances that were made during the mid sass’s in France include the invention and patenting of the modern sewing machine in 1830, the invention of a wire nail making machine 1834, the invention of the Daguerreotype photo process 1839 and the invention of the first lead acid rechargeable battery by Gaston Planet 1859. Scientific advances made during this time include the discovery of the photoelectric effect by Alexander Becquerel 1839, discovery of the rate of rotation of the earth by Leon Faculty 1851, and Louis Pasture’s processes of bastardization and vaccinations.
Other achievements include the architectural feats of constructing the Eiffel Tower and the Suez Canal (Timeliness France 1796-1920) In the mid sass’s Paris was the creative cultural Hub of Europe, and Artists and writers converged on the city looking to gain acknowledgment of their work. Many of these artists lived in poverty in a section of Paris known as the Latin Quarter, here they extolled the virtues of writing and painting the world as they saw it rejecting traditional themes and motifs, they called themselves Bohemians. Significant works of writers of the time include Victor Hugs Less Miserable’s, Alexander Dumas Jar.
La Dame auk Camellias, and the comedies of Gustavo Flatter of which Madame Ovary enjoyed great popularity. A new style of painting known as impressionism was adopted by several artists during the mid sass’s who strove to create art that was closer to life and free from past traditions, most notably Detoured Meant, Jean-Claude Monet and August Renoir. The work of the Impressionists were generally rejected by the mainstream art salons and art critics of the time who reflected the bourgeois idea that art should represent the virtues and ideologies of the ruling class or recount important moments in history (Marinara pig. 23 Part VII The art objects auto/biographical data of the artist/school. Born February 25 1841, in Lingoes, France died December 3 1919, Cannes, France Pierre Augusta Renoir was raised by a working class family in Paris. His parents recognizing he had artistic talent apprenticed him to work in a porcelain factory age 13 painting flowers on plates. Realizing he should study painting to fully realize his talent, he began painting lessons under the tutelage of Charles Gallery as well as taking courses in anatomy and drawing.
During this time Renoir met Claude Monet and they became good friends. Together with Alfred Sisley and Edgar Degas these artists formed a new group of painters known as the Impressionists, who depicted scenes of everyday Parisian life in expressive style that concentrated on the effects of natural light and how it altered the appearance of their subjects. The impressionists generally worked outdoors viewing their subjects directly as they minted utilizing the process of all prima with oil paints.
The impressionists new style of painting was generally rejected by the mainstream art gallery the Juries of the Salon and finding profitable work was difficult, but Rennin’s affinity for painting the human form gained him several commissions for portraits and this work gave him exposure and recognition by middle class society. Honing his craft Renoir began using more expressive brush strokes in his paintings which increasingly emphasized the everyday pleasures of Parisian life.
Several of his most important works were employed during this time most notably La Loge 1874, Dance at El Million De La Galatea 1876, and The Luncheon of the Boating Party 1881. Gaining wider acceptance of his work, and his finances no longer a problem Renoir was married in 1890 to Alien Chariot. In his later years Renoir was plagued by rheumatism forcing him to seek better climate in Southern France where he eventually purchased the estate of Less Toilette’s in Cannes, Preface in 1907. Here he spent the remainder of his life.
Despite the debilitating arthritis which deprived him of the use of his fingers and legs Renoir continued to paint by securing his paint rush to his hand. The subjects for his Paintings during this period consisted of his wife and children as well as his maid, and still life’s of flowers and fruits from his garden. (Cognizant/Hutchinson pig. 32) Rennin’s love of painting contemporary working class men and women at leisurely pursuits (formerly restricted to members of the aristocracy) is apparent in his painting Luncheon of the Boating Party 1881.
The dynamic social structure of late nineteenth century France is evident in this paintings illustration of many diverse social classes enjoying the luxury of a day in the suburbs of Paris on the river Seine. As a social commentary this group embodies the fulfillment of the French Revolutions promise of freedom and equality for all citizens, regardless of wealth or social class. (Road Para. 6) The historical significance of this painting is that it represents the culmination of Rennin’s artistic talents up to this point in his life and marks a departure for him from purely Impressionist renderings.
In this painting Renoir exhibited his talents in boot Classical and Impressionistic painting styles, combining his skills in portraiture, landscape, and still life in one coherent masterful composition. (Movement Para. ) Part VIII – Your interpretation of the Art Objects content (your critical Judgment) Rennin’s intention in this painting is to celebrate the increasing freedom and quality of life of middle class Parisian that grew out of the social and economic changes the French revolution set into motion.
The middle class may still be tied to their work in the city but increased wages and a shorter workweek give them the freedom to make an excursion to the suburbs to enjoy leisurely pursuits, and forget about work and enjoy the company of others in their pursuit of love and happiness in this new modern age. This ideal is communicated with great effect in the painting where varied members of society are Joined together in pleasant harmony within an intimate setting surrounded by scenic beauty.
Renoir utilizes all of his talents to depict this paintings scene as a carefree gentle afternoon of communal pleasure, luxurious yet simple and infused with the promise off good life to be had for all. This painting makes me feel nostalgic for a time when American society was less fractured by economic and cultural differences. People were more tolerant and respectful of one another and could enjoy each other’s company at a place such as evicted in the painting. Alas I believe the American melting pot and the promise of economic freedom for all are empty idealistic notions that have fallen out of favor.
Rennin’s painting reminds us that monumental changes in society and culture are possible, that when unified the working class can be a great force for change in their lives. If people that share the same economic burdens can put aside their petty differences, and rally for a cause for change much can be accomplished. The painting reminds me of many works of art that Eve studied over the course of his semester, in that it has elements and stylistic qualities of the great masters as well as the innovations of the Impressionist movement.