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Paris. Cafés, amis et impressions
Paris, Moulin de la Galette
Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 1876
I was a close friend of Monet's,
so much so that I wanted to convey all the energy
of bohemian life in my work. I decided to make a painting with the objective of painting a snapshot of the frenetic and amusing Parisian life of the Belle Epoque: after careful research, I found everything I wanted in the Moulin de la Galette. This was a very fashionable place in those years; it was picturesque, well-kept and very characteristic. It was a picturesque,
well-kept and very characteristic place. This extraordinary setting had been created by the renovation of two abandoned windmills on the top of the Montmartre hill. What made the ambience even more pleasant was the name of the place, which referred to the delicious pancakes offered as a gift to customers who dined here.
Many people frequented this place: artists, painters, scholars, but also people who wanted to spend a Sunday afternoon having fun and chatting. When I realised that the place could be a source of great inspiration for me, I began to invest all my energy in the canvas. I frequented and studied every detail of the Moulin de la Galette for more than six months.
After much effort, I managed to finish the painting and exhibited it at the third Impressionist exhibition. Some critics thought that the characters portrayed were too simple, while others, to my great pleasure, were convinced that I had succeeded in capturing on canvas the light-heartedness and happiness that people were experiencing at the time.
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