Pandemic Delight: Patio Dining in Art & Life (Renoir)

Cher’s Famous Art

27 June 2020

“Luncheon of the Boating Party”

Auguste Renoir, 1881, French Impressionist

Local suburbs are helping restaurants stay afloat during the pandemic by allowing them to carve out patios on sidewalks and even streets to increase seating capacity. I love dining in outdoor cafes; it makes me feel very “European” even if I am in a local café.

“Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Renoir, Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” is one of my favorite outdoor dining paintings as it also has a view of water! I had the privilege of seeing Renoir’s masterpiece in person on a trip to Washington, D.C. Oil on canvas, it is fairly large (51” x 68). It is a great example of the Impressionist style of painting but is amazingly realistic at the same time. One thing I noticed was the glass of wine on the lower left hand side of the table. Even sitting 4 feet away, it was clearly red wine in a clear class. However, close up at 12″, it was just a bunch of smeared paint!

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TRAVEL TIP: When in D.C., I highly recommend including a visit to see this painting and others in the intimate, private Phillips Collection, housed in the Phillips’ family home, an 1897 Georgian Revival mansion in the Dupont Circle area of the city. With one of the finest collections of Impressionist works in the world, it is a nice, restful break from the Smithsonian museums – and just a short train ride away from the Mall area. The Dupont Circle area also has some fine stately homes and wonderful places to dine.

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