Moulin de la Galette
Pierre Auguste Renoir
Musee d'Orsay

Analyzing the Painting
Explore the Elements of Composition
Line, Texture, Space, Color and Shape

1.  Look at the lines in the painting.  How would you describe them?  Are there lines that lead the viewer through the painting?  Do you see lines that are formed through eye contact?  Describe these implied lines and where they are located in the composition. Is there a sense of movement in the painting?  How does the artist create this dynamism with lines?

2.  Describe the textures in the painting. Think about what the clothing, furniture, and surrounding might look like in real life.  How has the artist expressed the texture of these objects?

3.  Explore the colors in the painting.  What time of day is it?  How do you know?  Is the sun shining?  Does the sunlight and shade fall on any of the figures?  Is there one or more colors that are used throughout the entire composition?  What effect does this have on the unity of the composition?
Is there a pattern of color used throughout the composition?  What are the colors you see in the painting?  Do the colors used in the painting express a sense of happiness or playfulness in the composition?

4.  Where are YOU, yes you the viewer in relationship to the painting.  Are you walking by this restaurant?  Do any of the people in the painting see you-make eye contact with you?  Does this create a sense of depth, and directness in the painting?  Is there a definite foreground, middleground, and background in the painting?  Do objects in the foreground appear to be closer to you?  Are they more clear and distinct?  Are the figures and objects in the background very blurry and high on the composition plane.  Do they appear to be further away?  Is the painting cropped or the frame cut as in a photograph?

5.  What kinds of shapes do you see in the painting?  Do you see crisp clear shapes or fuzzy, soft shapes?  How does this style contribute to the overall mood or attitude of the painting?

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