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The Skiff (La Yole)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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This sunlit scene on the river Seine is typical of the imagery that has come to characterise Impressionism, and Renoir includes several familiar Impressionist motifs such as fashionably dressed women, a rowing boat, a sail boat, and a steam train crossing a bridge. The exact location has not been identified, but we are probably looking at the river near Chatou, some ten miles west of central Paris, which was a popular spot for recreational boating.

If Renoir’s choice of subject is characteristically Impressionist, this is also true of his painting technique. He creates an effect of summer heat and light by using bright unmixed paint directly from the tube and by avoiding black or earth tones. In placing the bright orange boat against the dark blue water, Renoir has deliberately used complementary colours, which become more intense when seen alongside each other.

Key facts
Artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Artist dates 1841 - 1919
Full title The Skiff (La Yole)
Date made 1875
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 71 x 92 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1982
Inventory number NG6478
Location in Gallery Room 41
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