Bal du moulin de la Galette

painting by Auguste Renoir, big version in the Musée d'Orsay

Bal du moulin de la Galette (English: Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) (1876) is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It is in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening. Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typical Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light. The French painter Gustave Caillebotte owned the painting for about 20 years. When he died it became the property of the French Republic. From 1896 to 1929 the painting hung in the Musée du Luxembourg. From 1929 it hung in the Musée du Louvre. It was sent to the Musée d'Orsay in 1986. Renoir painted a smaller version of the picture with the same title. This painting is in a private collection. For many years it was owned by John Hay Whitney. On May 17, 1990, his widow sold it for US$78 million at Sotheby's in New York City. It was one of the most expensive artworks ever sold.

Bal du moulin de la Galette, 1876

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