At the moment, one of the sketches of the painting is in the St. Petersburg Hermitage. The history of its creation is somewhat different from the usual works of Pierre Auguste Renoir.
It all started in 1891, when Henri Rougeon, director of the Department of Fine Arts in France, asked the artist to provide him with work for the museum in Luxembourg. Then Renoir took up the creation of a number of paintings, sustained in the same theme. One of these paintings was the work “Girls at the Piano”, which critics considered unfinished.
The fact is that the viewer may seem as if the picture lacks the saturation and tracing of the lines, but it is worth noting the absence of any standards in the work. Renoir took advantage of this when he presented the painting to the exhibition. If we consider it from the point of view of a professional, a certain transparency and weightlessness of the composition are relevant here, which is achieved by the presence of warm, but not caustic colors.
Renoir also did not begin to overload the canvas with a clear outline of the figures and the presence of additional attributes. This creates the impression of a certain integrity of the image as a separate episode from life in which everything is harmonious: both the red dress of one of the girls, and the vase with flowers, smoothly turning into a musical instrument, and the lack of three-dimensionality.
It is important to note that this particular painting was the first in the life of the creator, which was bought for the state assembly. At that time, Renoir was 50 (!) Years old. During its existence, the canvas managed to migrate to the Louvre, then to the national gallery of Jeu de Pomme, and then to the Orsay Museum, where it is located to this day.
Speaking about the artist, it is worth noting his great popularity among wealthy citizens of that time, since Renoir was distinguished by the characteristic style of secular France in his works. He painted a lot on a similar topic, including this picture.
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