The Dance in the Country
France, about 1890
Plate: 220 x 135 mm; mount: 556 x 405 mm
A man and a woman move as one to the steps of a dance. Renoir evokes movement through the rapid lines of the background, glimpsed as a blur as the couple swirl. The swish of the coat and dress heighten the dizzying sense of movement. Although Renoir does not show the music’s source, his technique conjures the rhythm of the dance and the accompanying song. Dancing couples were a subject that fascinated Renoir; in 1883 he painted three full-length portraits of couples dancing, one of which (Dance at Bougival, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) was the basis for this etching.
Purchased 1959 (No. 59.9)