by moods & appetites
March 16th, 2009 6 responses »


In honor of the 100th entry, I’m offering a prize to one person who comments on this entry, chosen at random. The prize is the Starter Kit from Adagio Teas that includes a teapot and four tea samples. You can view it here
Please post by Friday, March 20th at midnight EST.

In Luncheon of the Boating Party, Renoir’s circle of friends sit on the balcony of the riverside restaurant Fournaise, where many boaters, writers, models, and art enthusiasts gathered in the summer. The group looks so homogenous that it’s hard to discern the different classes and occupations, from the proprietor, Alphonse Fournaise, to Gustave Caillebotte, who both wear the straw hats and white shirts attributed to boaters. Caillebotte was not only a well-known painter in his own right but an avid boater as well. Ironically, Renoir creates the tigh-knit and festive atmosphere by giving each member a different line of vision, and as individuals they seem to be absorbed in their own thoughts.
Identification of each member of the party: >>>

Caillebotte presents a different kind of occasion in Luncheon, where his mother and brother René dine in silence, attended by their butler. The Caillebotte family was well-off, but, at this point, had to sort out their finances after the death of Gustave’s father. René was particularly good at reckless spending. Caillebotte always creates an unusual perspective that makes the viewer’s involvement ambiguous, and, here, the plate in the foreground suggests that he himself sits at the table. Callebotte’s paintings seem to grow out of that play in perspective, making it hard to judge whether family tensions are involved in Luncheon. The colors may not be as bright and flashy as Renoir’s, but the dynamics and perspective are no less innovative.

Bazille and Camille is a study for Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass, which was less successful than its provocative counterpart and was left unfinished. The study, on the other hand, could be a painting on its own, as Monet’s brushwork and composition bears none of the stiffness that characterizes his intended product.

6 responses to “Luncheon”

  1. gypsyeyesjewelry

    I am utterly floored and at the same time so in my element here! Teetotaler and scone baker that I am, this post drew me right in. Renoir sweetened the deal. The icing on the cake – I am currently designing my first line of cuffs, replete with lace and at least one of them will have peacock elements.
    Thank you Katrina for yet another fabulous dose of inspiration!

  2. Emily Moe

    I’m not sure in what universe my hat gets to sit next to Renoir and Alexander McQueen (what a dress!), but I sure am honored! Thanks! Your blog is always so beautiful!

  3. Sarah Reid

    :O Wrist cuffs! Why have I never thought of wearing those before? They’re gorgeous!

    It’s really kind of neat to think that members of a crowd can be (and seem!) so far apart from one another while still sitting so close together.

  4. J.Evans

    I just discovered this website and it went straight to my favorites. So many interesting things on here.
    Thanks for the article today. I’ll never look at ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’ the same way again.

  5. JDWolfe

    Fascinating feature! Thank you!

  6. Katrina

    Congratulations to JDWolfe who won the tea set from Adagio Teas. The comments will be closed now.

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