A Painting is Worth a Thousand Words

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in this case Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s the Luncheon of the Boating Party of 1881 befits this analogy. The setting of the painting is in a floating boat in which a variety of guests have been invited to grace a luncheon. The painter successfully captivates the viewer at a glance and arouses his/her imagination of a party actively in progress. In this regard, the paper will bring into focus the elements in the painting that make it an ideal choice such as accuracy of the setting in achieving the four human senses, the unique blending shown by its color theme, presence of better textural properties enhancing tactility, and mood aroused to the viewer.

            Unique is beyond the acceptable description of the setting. This is because of the painting arouses the five critical senses of humans. One’s vision is captivated by the invited guests who turn up in a blend of magnificent colors: white, black, brown, red, and yellow that dot their garments. In the foreground, a beautiful lady sitting on the left of the table engages in deep conversation with her pet dog. The vocal tone of her voice so sweet, the muscular gentleman in a white can’t resist this, strides across the floor in a majestic manner to enhance his boldness. In a deep voice he greets the lady and tells her “Hello sweetheart! Whoever put that flower on your head did not recognize how it creates an ambience of beauty on your face, making it glow like the sunflower”. The young lady respond shyly “Thank you for your compliment”. Hence, this illustrates how the author successfully stirs up conversation in his painting.

            In the middle ground, a young lady supports her chin with her elbow. Her eyes gaze blankly into the space, which shows her detachment from the others. Right next to her is a lady who also appears to be detached from the rest. Her only companion being her drink that she gladly sips the contents from the glass. “As sweet as honey” is the expression written on her face, and she won’t let go off the glass. “Woof! Woof!” the pet dog barks at its owner, while wagging its tail like a snake. The gentleman is not impressed by this distraction and glances to the other side of the sea.

To break the monotony, a cool breeze from the sea gently wafts past the water plants adjacent to the boat. It sends the water plants dancing joyously like a ballerina dancer in a Russian opera. It also sends the hair of the man in a white cardigan whirling in a circular motion.

2) Discuss the mood/effect of the painting. You can consider the use of color, light, texture, etc. as well as the subject itself.

The color theme used in the painting is the result of a careful choice and blending of warm and cool shades of colors. The blending has been used to lighten up the venue/setting of the party in a characteristic fashion. Warm colors create a happy feeling by lightening up the party. The shimmering yellow of the hats speak volumes. The white garment on the table illuminates the occasion by creating an inviting atmosphere. The red rose flower on the young lady’s hat radiates affection. Its smell and allure keeps the man standing behind fixated on her.

Cool colors have been used to achieve tonal variation.  These create an atmosphere of fun and relaxation on this specific occasion. In the middle ground, the man in a brown court and matching brown hat enhances uniformity.  In addition, the green from the sea vegetation enhances the natural surroundings of the boat. This is coupled by the effect created by the blue tone of the sea in the background.

In essence, the painting is well done because it enhances human features and brings out the natural environment more vividly. The painting also has a smooth texture that creates a tactility realm for the party. For example, the woolen cardigan of the man bending next to a woman in a blue dress on the right generates a smooth and silky feel. Texture has also been specifically enhanced to create a tactile feeling of the human hair, for example, the gentleman standing next to the lady with a dog spots an overgrown moustache and beards that appear rough on his face giving him a shabby look. In addition, these elements can be deduced from the pet dog’s fur, which give the dog a hairy look.

Finally, indeed the painting is an ideal choice due to elements such as accuracy of the setting in achieving the four human senses, the unique blending shown by its color theme, presence of better textural properties enhancing tactility, and mood aroused to the viewer. Starting from the lively conservation mood presence in the paint, to the blending of colors, and enhancement of textural properties, the paint is successful in achieving its intended goal. The natural atmosphere of the sea surrounding has also been clearly brought out using colors and a windy ambience. In essence, the painting can easily fit the description of a classical master piece.

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