Luncheon at the Boating Party by August Renoir

My personal impressions of Renoir’s masterpiece… Milan Buddha Ghosh

Contemplating art, literature and cultural forms and norms, brings me intellectual insight, joy, pleasure, gratitude, wisdom, is meditation, is connection to self, friends, the world of art reflecting life, and life itself… contemplating, digesting arts meanings is all these things and more

Again, salvaged from a bin-yard. This painting is now rather faded because of age, it is pink grey and blues they appear to be other on a boat parked at the rivers brushy, bushy edge or at a riverside café. There are 6 gentlemen and 6 gentle-ladies, looking v mellow and summery. One around the table loaded with elegant wine bottles, fulsome, dark red grapes, and wineglasses, and interestingly, the women are all looking upwards and aside, with subtle joy. Only one woman is looking at a gentleman; they all appear to be middle-class of the Victorian era. One man wears a top hat. And

To me, it is about a day off work, not off life!

It is about rest and relaxation and people enjoying each others intimacy of friendship and conversation. There is definitely an erotic fondness between various men and women in the picture, the lovely search for love and the hope for it, despite its cost. Ah! Wistfully I say to me and you. In the right side of the picture one woman eyes are wine-mellowed and fond as she looks up to the face of a confident fond-eyed man, the fond eyes of love. It is a very romantic painting. And we know Renoir loved women, perhaps a little too much, like Salvador Dali he sexploited ‘his’ women the women he portrayed; sadly they treated them too much as sex object’arts – even whilst from Woman’s Hours inn radio 4, women discussing this, conceded to each other these sexobjects’art colluded in that exploitation, out of love, lust and admiration (human beings are complex massivley like reality). The heat is all around them on the French Riviera. It is classic August Renoir. I have had to smudge layers of dust off this ole fave pic, which I became to familiar with by contempt. But I discovered it recreating presence of moment and meaning, as I’m sure Renoir intended. I moved from concept – or story of life – back to experience, or presence. And this what art does it renews us, and recreates us, whether when contemplating alone, or with friends or strangers. It inspires our intellect and … heart. Arts ‘gets’ us where it counts; it reduces isolation in our suffering, like the yearning I, and many others, have to experience love with a soul-mate including, intellectual and erotic love, true companionship ion life. But since the art reflecting life – in this case Renoir’s Luncheon at the Boating Party, is not merely in our introspection neurotically intellectual mind, we experience, space, freedom, maybe enlightenment. The Buddha said no one could become enlightened without art/aesthetics or forgiveness for that matter, and art sometimes had double themes on forgiveness and the art of the erotic, including being badly hurt by ‘lovers’.

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