Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Swing, 1876, oil on canvas, 36.2” x 28.7”, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Swingin’ with Renoir

Like other Impressionist artists, Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted outside, or en plein air, in order to capture the light and atmosphere of a split second.  His painting entitled, The Swing depicts his brother, a fellow painter, his favorite model and a little girl (Renoir often included children in his paintings) enjoying a sunny afternoon in a Parisian park.

But the subject of the painting really is the light and color of the setting and the various patterns that they make.  The whole scene is dappled with sunlight that forms patterns across the ground, the trees, and the figures.  The blue bows on the lady’s dress create a strong vertical pattern near the center of the composition.  In fact, the entire composition also is a study of bluish purples, greens, and their complementary colors in various hues of gold.

You can view this image on Google Art Project by clicking here.

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