Renoir’s Dance at Bougival is one of my favorite paintings. Period.
No sarcasm, no wit: I genuinely love this picture. Renoir was just like every other Impressionist painter and obsessed with the idea of capturing daily Parisian life.
(I try and to the same thing, but sitting outside with Nutella in DC just doesn’t have the same vibe, you know what I mean?)
Renoir’s Dance is at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but it didn’t make the jump across the Atlantic without a quick stop to New York. The Met acquired the work in 1937 for $150,000 (about 2.6M today). It had made the trip once before when it was purchased at shipped to New York from Paris in 1886.
Paul Durand-Reul was a real art world go-getter in the late nineteenth century. He spent considerable time and money snapping up Impressionist work when no one wanted it. (Imagine those girls that are rocking Coachella months before that look is even considered cool: that’s Durand-Reul. Or like SillyBandz before they were legit. Or a Fidget Spinner. Durand-Reul’s basically out there buying the first dozen Fidget Spinners.)
Dance at Bougival passes through a lot of hands before the Met’s acquisition. Now that it’s on display at the MFA, it remains as one of the collection’s crown jewels. And how could it not?! Everything from that drapery to all the cigarettes underfoot, Renoir focuses just as much attention to nonchalant, everyday details as the gestures of the two.