The location of the beer garden in the painting is very near to where the French army buried the many massacred after the suppression of the Paris Commune.
The painting itself is an attack on all that came before. The very idea of painting outside, the way colour is used (there is no black for example), the eccentric perspective, the play of light. It is a very radical piece, and one that does not mention the squalor beneath the surface, the poverty of the lives of his models. Renior was concerned with Beauty, In this way he was able to forget the many dead buried just near this working class locale.
The afternoon yellow light sun
Falls through the trees, through
The leaves, through the thin woody
Sprays, the strong wooden boughs
Dividing and quavering the light.
The afternoon light yellow falls
On the corner of the table,
Flashing an emerald green.
Ambiguous sunny Sunday afternoon
Of carefree dance and sparkling
White wine like electricity garden.
As the crouching stalking domestic
Cat follows and chases the small
Brown mouse or twittering yellow
And gray bird, until she loses
Herself in the thick scrub and
Wild grasses of the set aside
Nature reserve. As the young child
Chases the bouncing balloon caught
In the light breeze, or the teasing
Wagtail, until the child loses itself
In the wild grasses and thick scrub
Of the reserve over the fence.
Even so do the dancers of late
Afternoon carefree yellow
Sunlight youth forget
Their day to day cares,
The endless listed payments,
Pointless busy work waste.
Do beer garden dancers