Trois reproductions diversement imparfaites.
picture, as well as being a delight in itself, illustrates a transitional
aspect of Renoir's art. It shows a new attention to design as a well-defined
scheme of arrangement, the umbrellas forming a linear pattern of a far from
Impressionist kind, the linear element also being stressed in the young
modiste's bandbox, the little girl's hoop and the umbrella handles.
In this care for definite form, apparent
also in the figures at the left, one can see a discontent with Impressionism
and a search for a firmer basis of style that would date the work to about
1883-4, after his journeyings abroad and the revision he brought into his
ideas. It is unlikely that it preceded the Muslim Festival of 1881 and more
probably represents a subsequent reaction.
The CÚzanne-like treatment of the tree at
the back also suggests it was painted after Renoir stayed with him at L'Estaque
in 1882. The children and the lady with them are more indicative of the
style of the 'seventies than the rest of the picture which may well have
passed through stages of repainting over a period. The charm of the whole
is nevertheless able to overcome the feeling of slight discrepancy that
may result from close examination.