Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 18, 2011

Free Fall Friday with Renoir

For this week, Kathy supplied the picture to inspire you. Before you study the Renoir painting, first read the following post on dialogue from Kathy’s blog. She shares wonderful tips for writing dialogue, which is what you should concentrate on for this week’s exercise.

Pick two people from the painting to focus on or create two children who are off-scene observers, listening to the conversations. Let your mind wander and wonder. What is the woman in the red hat whispering to the dog? Why is the dog on the table? Are any of the other people discussing this? Why does the woman in the upper far right have her gloves covering her ears? Is the woman leaning over the railing talking to anyone beneath her? Perhaps the two children are there.

This famous painting offers much inspiration for a multitude of scenarios. So sit back, listen to some classical music, and let your mind slip away to this era in history. Allow the story to come to you. Write a one-page response focusing on dialogue.

As for me, I am off to the land of Mickey Mouse for another magical day. Look for a post on my blog geared towards the picture book marathoners.

Happy writing! Kathy and I would love to read what you come up with.

Thanks Betsy!  So much going on in this painting titled, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir, the year 1881. 

The painting depicts a group of Renoir’s friends relaxing on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine river in Chatou, France. The painter and art patron, Gustave Caillebotte, is seated in the lower right. Renoir’s future wife, Aline Charigot, is in the foreground playing with a small dog.

The diagonal of the railing serves to demarcate the two halves of the composition, one densely packed with figures, the other all but empty, save for the two figures of the proprietor’s daughter Louise-Alphonsine Fournaise and her brother, Alphonse Fournaise, Jr, which are made prominent by this contrast. In this painting Renoir has captured a great deal of light. The main focus of light is coming from the large opening in the balcony, beside the large singleted man in the hat. The singlets of both men in the foreground and the table-cloth all work together to reflect this light and send it through the whole composition.

Talk tomorrow,


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