The Impressionists moved their painting from inside studios out into the open air. In doing so, the artists painted what they saw, and more importantly, what they felt. Landscapes are a natural feature of the impressionism period, but so too are people. Parisians going about their everyday life. From the ten impressionists artists featured in River City’s exhibition, three painted Parisians dancers: Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
If you follow classical ballet, Edgar Degas’s paintings will be well known to you already. From all Degas’s artworks, almost 1,500 of them depicted the movements of ballerinas preparing for a performance, practicing or performing. But his fascination was not limited to ballerinas. He also painted working class women going about their daily life. Degas is also recognised for his use of pastel colours.
Very different in his approach, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s favourite subject was the theatre. He became famous for his paintings depicting the scenes from Paris’s exotic night life. ‘Cadieux’ (1893) and ‘Marcelle Lender Dancing in the Bolero in Chilperic’ (1895) are the great examples of this. The energy and enthusiasm in his paintings are visceral.
Last but not least, Pierre-Auguste Renoir who’s subjects are not directly about dancing, but it’s definitely about celebration. ‘Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette’ (1876) is Renoir’s masterpiece which beautifully reflects how Parisian’s enjoyed life. Renoir combined vibrant colours and expansive brushstrokes and often had a lighthearted and joyful theme. As he once said, “Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.”
Experience the vibrancy of Paris in the 19th century. Visit THE IMPRESSIONISTS multimedia exhibition, opening Friday 8 January and running until 18 April 2021 at the Museum of Digital Art on the 2nd floor, River City Bangkok.
or at The Gallery Shop, 1st floor, River City Bangkok