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Impressionist Pierre Renoir often chose to paint festive, colorful scenes of popular recreation. During 1882-1883 he completed three life-sized compositions of dancing couples.
One of these large canvases (in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) features dancers at the open-air café in Bougival, a suburb of Paris. This small sketch was probably made years later.
The man gazes at his partner with rapt attention, as short, choppy brush strokes convey their whirling motion.