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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Dance at the Moulin de la Galette



In the 19th century, many artists turned away from historical painting and chose to represent true and authentic scenes.

Thanks to them we get incredible insight into what life was like at the time.

The Moulin de la Galette was a windmill on top of Montmartre, a hill on the outskirts of Paris.

The name literally means "the Pancake Windmill".

Every Sunday, its owners would turn it into an open-air dance floor.

Parisians would flock up the hill to party - including many artists who had their studios nearby.

As writer Zola described it : "We rushed off into the countryside to celebrate the joy of not having to listen to any more talk about politics".

As an Impressionist, Renoir was intent on capturing the effects of light and the atmosphere of these moments.

So he painted outdoors, setting up the large canvass in the garden next door.