The painting Summer Landscape, often referred to as Woman With A Parasol In A Garden, was concluded by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1875 is a work created at the height of the Impressionist style, a style forged by Renoir alongside Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley. The tone, themes, and visual language of the canvas are heavily infused with Impressionistic ideals: the flowers, buds, hedges, and undergrowth are formed from light and confident dabs of color, creating a constantly intermingling array of tactile forms and textures that surround and cluster the figures.
The parasol of the strolling woman reminds the viewer of the effect and presence of natural light in the painting, as her walking partner bends down to pick a flower, interacting with this reproduction of a verdant natural scene. Although the setting appears to be a countryside location, it was in fact painted in the garden of Renoir's studio in the Paris quarter of Montmartre, which his friends commented had the qualities of an overgrown park.
In Summer Landscape, Renoir placed a bundle of colorful blossoming bushes in the forefront of the artwork, with red, white, blue and orange flowers. The vegetation changes in tone of color as the sunlight shines upon it. The two figures in the background are wearing dark clothing, and pair up with the dark vegetation depicted to their right. The overall painting creates a warm atmosphere as grass shimmers in yellow sunlight.
Renoir began his life as a painter on porcelain reproductions. Without the family wealth of many of his contemporaries, the artist was forced to constantly think regarding the sustainability of his craft and lifestyle. After moving to Paris, he studied under the fashionable artist Charles Gleyre – who favored painting outdoors to capture the play of light and shade. He also taught the likes of Monet and Sisley and thus allowed the trio to operate on an equal level in creating the Impressionist style. The first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, always staged independently to allow complete freedom of representation, bought Renoir and his circle more infamy that renown. Summer Landscape could be said to be one of the last paintings Renoir painted without an eye on the market or with a buyer in mind.
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