Dance in the Country was also painted early in 1883. The artist claims the scene was inspired by his visit to Italy in 1881. It was during this visit that Renoir visited Florence and became inspired by the work of Raphael, thus moving away from Impressionism.
Renoir has again used his associates as models for the couple; his friend Phillip Lôhte, again, and Aline Charigot, who later became his wife.
Dance in the Country is a gorgeous ‘feel good’ work, so welcome in this dark cold month, evoking thoughts of summer in us. The man seems consumed with his dancing partner (he does not seem to notice he has lost his hat), yet Aline steals a glance at us, the spectator. She looks sumptuous in the warm colours of her dress, gloves and hat. The scene is obviously one of those typical hot evenings near Paris, judging by the fan keeping Aline company. The couple fill the painting more than the others in this group of three paintings, but there are still space for some other points of interest; the rolling hat on the floor and the couple in the background. In just a few strokes of Renoir’s brush we see the intensity of the stare on the onlooker’s face – does she wish she was dancing with Phillip?
The Musèe D’Orsay is a great visit and when you get there look for this and it’s partner Dance in the City, amongst its treasures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as this iconic excercise in pointillism by Georges Seurat.