RENOIR, Pierre-Auguste
(b, 1841, Limoges, d. 1919, Cagnes-sur-Mer)

The Swing

Oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

This painting was shown in 1877 at the third Impressionist group exhibition. In it, Renoir was adopting the style of 18th-century French painting, the tradition of the 'fêtes galantes,' and the manner of artists such as Watteau or Fragonard. At the beginning of his career, Renoir has copied works by these painters in the Louvre and had earned his living by painting fans in the Rococo style. The subject of the rural 'fête galante' was therefore one with which he was extremely familiar. These were open-air scenes, usually in the well-tended grounds of a large country estate, where people conversed or danced together, listened to music, or relaxed in some other way for instance by taking a leisurely swing.

The swing was a popular subject in Rococo art, you can view some Rococo representations of the motif "The Swing."