Art Institute Exercise

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Baudelaire says that "pleasure ennobles the soul and softens the heart," and a quick glance through the works exhibited in the Impressionist Gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago brings out a wholehearted agreement with the statement. Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise," in Gallery 201 typifies the mood of the sentence where the artist has portrayed two young men, languorously enjoying the sun dappled afternoon.


This painting has been called an image of "bourgeois leisure" (Impressionism and Post-Impressionism p. 45) and here we see men and women enjoying themselves, which in turn suffuses their selves and softens the rough edges they might have possessed. The men and woman have an easy camaraderie, and they could be any of the vast multitudes who escaped the bustle of Paris to spend a day in the country, which was made possible by the new modes of transport like the locomotive.
2. In Visions, Hannoosh cited Baudelaire as describing some major techniques (valuing color over line, depicting movement or "perpetual vibration," including "air" as an element, using minute strokes, etc to make a "unified whole") that Impressionism developed fully. Find an Impressionist painting here that does one of these, identify, and briefly tell how it does so.
Baudelaire's analysis of the painting techniques of the Impressionists can be studied, once again, in Renoir's "Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise," where we find a look of unhurried action. ...
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