John Haber visits the exhibition Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting at the Frick Collection, New York, on view through May 13, 2012.
Haber writes that in the painting The Umbrellas, Renoir "surrounded a family dressed for success with the broader shading of clouds, a woman's full-length dress, and a swarm of umbrellas behind her. Those broader fields of blue and gray now fill the picture. Streaked with lighter tones, they show Renoir at his most modern, almost like the color planes of Paul Cézanne. And the critics were on to something, for Renoir was never better than when he cast color theories to the winds and indulged in black. In Moulin de la Galette, blacks ripple through the picture almost like points of light."