Thursday, 9 August 2012

a happy moment in the life of a blogger

Yesterday I had a blast sitting outdoors with my notebooks and stuff, all by myself for hours. A took the kids swimming and I used the opportunity to really relax and enjoy myself with magazines and books. I even had leftovers of a couscous salad with veggies and orange bites in the fridge so I didn't even have to prepare anything to eat. It sure was a happy moment in the life of a blogger.

Yesterday I also realised something:

I'm Renoir.

Okay, before you guys start thinking that I have completely lost it, that I'm in a state of madness, creating masterpieces, allow me to explain. There are no brushes or paint involved.

I am still reading Paris: The Collected Traveler, which I have already told you about. It contains various Paris related articles and yesterday I read a piece called 'Paint the Town' by Paris Muse (p. 445). Paris Muse is a company that offers private tours in Paris museums for small groups and the guides are art historians and native speakers of English. In their piece they mention Renoir's painting Bal du Moulin de la Galette (1876), Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, which is on display at the Musée d'Orsay. About the artist and the painting they say (black text, mine):
In 1877 most Parisians weren't ready to accept that contemporary scenes from their daily life were worthy enough for something as lasting and high-minded as fine art. Renoir felt differently. He painted his boyhood friends, sipping their grenadine, on a scale normally reserved for heroes. Instead of to a Roman interior, we are transported to a recognizable locale in Paris, the Moulin de la Galette guinguette at the foot of the Montmartre mill that gave it its name.
Later in the article they add:
The Moulin de la Galette in particular was not exactly respectable, which was precisely its attraction for bourgeois Parisians who went up the to "slum" on the weekends. Besides struggling artists, it was frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and local toughs. Renoir's idealized vision hints at none of that. He's more interested in the pleasurable surfaces of things, not their complicated substances.
In the article they say that Renoir's painting gives us a peaceful image of Paris which in reality it wasn't. The parliament was dissolved and there was a constitutional coup d'état that rocked the republic. About Renoir and the situation they write:
Renoir remained focused on light and color throughout. "For me, a picture should be something likable, joyous, and pretty—yes, pretty," he said. "There are enough ugly things in life for us not to add to them."
I rest my case.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt


  1. Je suis d'accord avec Renoir et toi!

    ♥ Franka

    1. haha, Franka, your comment cracked me up ;-)

  2. The complicated substance is just too complicated :)))))), dear Lisa! I am glad you had such a fabulous moment for yourself and I love reading about your stylish activities and the books that you read! More swimming for the kids :*:*:*

  3. How I loved reading those Renoir paragraphs. Watching Jean Renoir's films I've realised he has so much of his father's vision. He's always looked for expressing the humanity in his characters, the pleasant part of life even in situations when it was hard to see it. By the way, Lisa, you would love Jean Renoir's biography (a beautiful book and one of the best biographies I've read). He's also written a book about his father, 'Renoir, My Father', which I intend to order soon.
    PS: that's the blogger I like: with books and magazines and notebooks spread on the table, a creative mind :)

  4. Me too, me too! Light, colour and pretty - it holds together well :)x

  5. Me too, me too! Light, colour and pretty - it holds together well :)x

  6. I have to say that I'm right there beside you, Lisa. I love to paint a pretty picture and that's how I choose to live life. I tend to avoid or ignore the ugly.

    Your day sounded positively blissful. Glad you enjoyed :) xoxo

  7. Thank you Lisa for such a beautiful insight into Renoir, a wonderful way to view the world.
    Your day sounds blissful.
    Wendy x

  8. I agree, who wants to live a complicated, drama filled life? Simple and classic is best for me.

  9. That's lovely! You are Renior :) me too.

  10. In South Africa, if you ignore the harsh reality of things, you are called an ostrich because you bury your head in the sand. I am an ostrich, but I would rather be a Renoir! It sounds much more poetic:) x Sharon

  11. We should be Renoir for passing through the difficulties! Great idea :) I like it!


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