La Balancoire by Pierre Auguste Renoir


La Balancoire


Pierre Auguste Renoir

Ref GM2226
Type Fine Art Print
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A young man seen from the back is talking to a young woman standing on a swing, watched by a little girl and another man, leaning against the trunk of a tree. Renoir gives us the impression of surprising a conversation – as if in a snapshot, he catches the glances turned towards the man seen from the back. The young woman is looking away as if she were embarrassed. The foursome in the foreground is balanced by the group of five figures sketchily brushed in the background. La Balançoire (The Swing) has many points in common with Dance at the Moulin de la Galette. The two pictures were painted in parallel in the summer of 1876. The models in The Swing, Edmond, Renoir’s brother, the painter Norbert Goenuette and Jean, a young woman from Montmartre, figure among the dancers in Dance at the Moulin de la Galette. The same carefree atmosphere infuses both pictures. As in Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, Renoir is particularly trying to catch the effects of sunlight dappled by the foliage. The quivering light is rendered by the patches of pale colour, particularly on the clothing and the ground. This particularly annoyed the critics when the painting was shown at the Impressionist exhibition of 1877. La Balançoire nonetheless found a buyer – Gustave Caillebotte, who also bought Dance at the Moulin de la Galette.