Pierrre Auguste Renoir is one of the most remarkable painters of the French Impressionist school. Le déjeuner des canotiers or Luncheon of the boating party was painted in 1881 for an exhibition. It has a luminescent look due to the multiplicity of vibrant colors and dynamic brush strokes. The painting was first exhibited in 1882 and is now kept at Phillips Collection at Washington D.C. It is one of the top 100 paintings in the world.
The Matter of the Painting
The painting depicts some of Renoir’s friends sitting at the balcony of a restaurant adjacent to Seane river and enjoying a luncheon. Apart from the table at which Renoir’s friends and future wife are sitting, there seems to be another table. There are lovers, business men and friends in the scene. It is an open space, light is coming from the open window at the left. This depicts the French leisurely life. The painting has eclectic elements. It at once depicts human figures, still life, it also has an element of landscape painting with the greenery that surround the human figures. The wine bottles and glasses sprawled on the table are still life which Renoir painted as perecftly as he painted those human figures. The color white takes most space in the painting, the contrasting colors are also lighter. This preference for white, lighter colors makes the painting luminous. It shows what a bright, sunny day it is.
What Does the Painting Symbolize?
The painting symbolizes the communal feelings that human beings desire in order to live life. The flirtatious posture of the lovers, the lovely banters shared my friends and drinking wine together express communality and interactive relationship between human beings. The boating party is jovial and spending a leisurely time together. The lighter and brighter colors are symbolic of the merrymaking and the bright, cheerful day.
Artistic Value of the Painting
Every painting has both historical and artistical value. On one hand, it is showing a picture of the communal life of 19th century France where men and women take part in the social life together. The artistic value is evermore because this is one of the marker paintings of the French impressionist school. The luminosity of the painting gives it a pastoral, dreamscape quality. The painting is a manifestation of the impression that the scene carries in the painter’s mind.
Renoir is perhaps the most well known French painter after Claude Monet. Whereas Monet mostly drew landscapes, Claude Auguste Renoir invested in human figures in association with nature. His paintings of human figures are celebrated all over the world. To this day, the copies of his paintings are sold for thousands of dollars. The digital print of his paintings are expensive as well. But it definitely shows taste and refinement if you keep paintings such as the Luncheon of the Boating party at your home or at the workplace. This painting is an antique and a valued artifact of the past which can only be relived through paintings such as these.