The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in Art & History

Dance at Bougival

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Suzanne Valadon - Dance at Bougival

“Dance at Bougival” is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir made in 1883. It depicts two of Renoir’s friends dancing at one of the open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris.  Renoir used intense colour and lush brushwork to heighten the sense of pleasure conveyed by the whirling couple who dominate the painting.

The woman’s face, framed by her red bonnet and is the focus of attention. The woman’s body is arched to the dance as she turns her head and looks away delighted with the pleasure she inspires in her dance partner and herself. Her dress swirls to the rhythms of the dance.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Suzanne Valadon - Dance at Bougival - Detail

Renoir was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. He celebrated beauty and especially feminine sensuality. He was a prolific artist who created several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir’s style made his paintings some of the best known and reproduced works in the history of art.

Renoir’s paintings can be found in Museums across the world and some of my favourites are:

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                         Dance at Bougival
  • Artist:                       Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Year:                         1883
  • Type:                        Oil paint on canvas
  • Dimensions:           181.9 by 98.1 centimetres (71.6 in × 38.6 in)
  • Museum:                 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Artist Essential Facts:

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“An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature.” Auguste Renoir

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Photo Credit: 1) Pierre-Auguste Renoir [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 2) Pierre-Auguste Renoir [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons