dance at moulin de la galette


This is something I wanted to turn into a comic for quite some time.

There’s no shortcut to becoming a good artist and there is no one magic skill that solves all of our art problems. Instead, there are tons of tiny skills - sometimes they go well together and let us create things we like. Sometimes, nothing seems to fit and we feel like we can’t do anything right, even though we put so much work into learning those skills. Some skills connect, some don’t. Some suddenly fall into place once we learn one particular missing skill. Sometimes we don’t even know what skill we’re looking for, until we manage to learn a bunch of others. And in the end, we can tell apart skills that looked like a colourful mess when we just started out, looking for easy clues. 

Just like a puzzle. 

(The painting in the comic is Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, 1876 by Auguste Renoir, who in fact is the gentleman)

Dance at Moulin de la Galette by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Dance at Moulin de la Galette is one of Impressionism’s most highly revered masterpieces. The scene is of a Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette, where Parisians would typically dress up and spend all day dancing, drinking, and eating galettes, or flat cakes. The painting was in the collection of Gustave Caillebotte, but it was claimed by the French government upon his death due to the non payment of death duties. It was later transferred from the Luxembourg Museum, to the Louvre, and then later to the Musee d’Orsay. Its sale price at auction in 2009 was the fifth highest price ever paid for a painting at auction.

Le Moulin de la Galette (1900). Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). Oil on canvas. Guggenheim.

Le Moulin de la Galette, his first Parisian painting, reflects his fascination with the lusty decadence and gaudy glamour of the famous dance hall, where bourgeois patrons and prostitutes rubbed shoulders. Picasso had yet to develop a unique style, but Le Moulin de la Galette is nonetheless a startling production for an artist who had just turned 19.