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MAYNE Jean"THE FUN-FAIR"
Jean Mayne managed to do for a Brussels fun-fair what Renoir did for Bal Du Moulin De La Galette. He applied the same techniques and colour shades to his village, even if it obviously necessitated a different composition. There will have been substantially less people in a village around Brussels than in Paris’ Montmartre at the height of its artistic peak but Mayne does not let that affect the quality of the scene. Quite the opposite. The spectator observes a dog looking at two women catching up, having put some distance (physically and socially) between themselves and the fair. An intriguing perspective, as one is invited to wonder whether Mayne set out to paint the fun-fair, as the title suggests, or whether he actually wanted to portray the chatting girlfriends. Did the merry-go-round perhaps merely serve as a background? Surely, the highly finished, amazingly detailed craftsmanship that went into painting the ladies’ dresses makes it hard to believe they would not have been intended to draw so much attention. Blue is the warmest colour, at least in this painting. Whilst one might associate fun-fair with sunshine or nighttime, the entire painting bathes in a soft, pastel-like blue. From the dress of the upper-class lady to the town squares pavement. Why would the painter choose to do so? True to the impressionist philosophy, did he meticulously depict the scene as he observed it? Or did he want to use the same artistic language (and thus colour palette) as Renoir? Whatever the reason, the result is as stunning, as charming and as universal today as it was the day it was painted.
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