Dance in the Country Critical Reception
- Date of Creation:
- Alternative Names:
- The Country Dance / La danse a la champagne
- Height (cm):
- Length (cm):
- Art Movement:
- Created by:
- Current Location:
- Paris, France
- Displayed at:
- Musee dÓrsay
- Musee dÓrsay
Unlike many other artists Renoir´s view of modern life was reflected in his oeuvre which was solely based on joy and pleasure. This dedication to all things pleasant has made Renoir the least fashionable Impressionist painter among critics and art historians alike but a hugely popular painter nonetheless.
Like many of his works during this time, Dance in the Country demonstrated a new classical technique inspired by Renoirs visit to Italy and exposure to the works of Raphael, Velazquez, and Rubens. The notable differences in this and other paintings at this time resulted in them being grouped together under the title of the "Ingres" period, reflecting their slight similarity to the technique of Ingres. This period is also known as Renoirs "harsh" or "dry" period.
During this "Ingres" period, which lasted for approximately six years, Renoirs art became more severe in its style and he attempted to return to more classical art, with its pure and majestic approach. His drawing became more defined and his use of light more harmonious. Renoir met with disapproval due to the fact that he was not part of any particular movement and his work was not well-received by many critics.
It seems that in Dance in the country Renoir begins to show more respect for the woman by allowing her to smile. At the time Renoir created this canvas, it was generally believed that portraying models with a smile would result in a painting not being taken seriously. This was the only canvas in which Renoir painted the female - his future wife - enjoying herself and showing a full smile.
Renoir did not completely disregard Impressionism as he retained a luminous palette. The main change to his works was the emphasis on volume, form, contours, and lines rather than on color and brush stroke. However, the works from this period, including paintings such as Dance in the City, are often considered among the least successful of Renoir's later offerings.
Modern Day Reception:
The Dance series paintings marked a change in Renoir's technique in the early 1880s and this decade is generally regarded as the most experimental of Renoir´s entire career. A romantic and energetic painting, Dance in the country is one of Renoir's most treasured works of art.