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The Ball of the Mill of La Galette

Auguste Renoir. 1876

We are facing the first of the Impressionists we will see: Auguste Renoir. This is probably one of his most important works and a faithful representative of the spirit of the Impressionists.

The dance of the La Galette mill was presented at the group's third exhibition in 1877. In this typical Parisian scene of the time, we can even see some of Renoir's friends. La Galette is a traditional French bread, but people did not attend the mill to buy bread precisely.

The Mill that can still be seen in the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre, on the outskirts of the city at that time, was a place where the middle class met to socialize, be seen by others, have fun and dance. All come with their best clothes and Renoir seeks to capture this festive atmosphere, movement, and light of a summer afternoon. The expressive brushes used caused rejection among art critics of the time but gradually began to cause attraction among people who were portrayed in these paintings of monumental scale, an issue that was not usual for a scene as mundane as a dance of Sunday day.

Renoir established his studio on the hill of Montmartre and moved this great canvas with the help of a friend to paint directly in the mill and capture the essence of the moment.