In the background of this paintings is one of the many railway bridges that had recently been built by the French government and that were considered a symbol of modernity. These new lines allowed people such as those those depicted here by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) to leave Paris and enjoy the countryside. Set on a balcony overlooking the River Seine in Chatou, France, a group of Renoir's friends stand in a complex composition, framed under a wide awning. The figures represent the diverse Parisian social structure, ranging from wealthy, well-dressed bourgeoisie to a young seamstress, Aline Charigot, in the foreground on the left, whom Renoir would marry in 1890. In 'Luncheon of the Boating Party', Renoir apears to create a typical impressionistic scene, capturing a moment when his friends join him by the river on a sunny afternoon. In reality, Renoir- one of the founding members of the Impressionist movement- executed the portraits of each figure either separately or in smaller groups in his studio. In doing so, he was beginning to move away from his contemporaries. Indeed, shortly after finishing this painting, Renoir began to use more traditional methods of painting. The way in which 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' is painted remains Impressionistic however. Working in bright and warm colors, Renoir captures the effects of the light diffused by the awning. He suggets movement in his fingers through loose brushwork, while using a thicker handling of paint for the still-life on the table.