The Umbrellas by Renoir

The Umbrellas by Renoir

Under my Umbrella

From Rihanna to Renoir, creatives have long been inspired by the humble umbrella. Umbrellas or parasols have been around in some form since Ancient Egypt, but it wasn't until the 18th Century that the modern iteration of the umbrella with a cane was invented. Finally, in mid-19th Century Paris umbrellas became widespread and affordable to the masses. In this painting 'The Umbrellas' by Renoir, we see over a dozen umbrellas which form a canopy above the busy Paris street below. Find out more about what is happening in this usual painting by watching our new release of the week, presented by Heather, and aimed at ages 7-11. 

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Did You Know...

That Renoir painted this scene in two stages, with a gap of four years apart! If you look closely you begin to notice that the figures on the right, the woman and her two children, are painted in a much looser, feathery style compared to the rest of the painting. This demonstrates Renoir's change in style during the 1880s, and how he began to move away from Impressionism. The woman on the left in the later style, is painted with much tighter, crisp outlines with a greater sense of three dimensional form. These differing styles would have been very clear to contemporary viewers, and is why Renoir had trouble selling this painting - in fact no one came forward to purchase it until 1892!