Would you wave to her?

If you looked out your window and saw this little girl standing there, would you tap on the glass and wave to her? I would. Paintings are like windows through which we look into another world. The world of this picture is of more than a hundred years ago, but there are many things about it just like ours. People still have neat and pretty gardens and children still love flowers. The little girl has picked two daisies, as she probably wasn't allowed to pick the prickly pink roses that grow in the clump in front of her and in a long bed behind her past a smooth green lawn. Do you think she looks pleased with herself? I guess she has just finished watering some flowers she likes best with her dark green watering can. You may have to look closely to see that because dark green doesn't show up clearly against her dark blue dress.

Her clothing lets us know this was painted long ago. Children nowadays don't wear long sleeves in summer even for dress-up. Her high-buttoned black shoes also look very old-fashioned. But if you cover the clothing with your hand, she looks like any little blue-eyed girl happy in a summer garden.

When we are about the age of this youngster, we all love to paint and draw. But as we grow older many of us lose our interest. Those who keep up their drawing and painting sometimes become famous artists like the man who painted this picture. His name was Auguste Renoir. He must have loved to paint from early childhood.

As his parents were poor and lived in Limoges, France, where fine porcelain china was made, Auguste was sent out to work as an apprentice to a painter on porcelain. Soon, he decided he wanted to be an artist and paint on canvas instead of on teapots and plates. He worked very hard and by the time he was 21, he had saved enough money to go to Paris. There, he entered the famous, official art school, the 'Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

He soon joined a group of other young painters who came to be known as ``Impressionists'' because they put down on their canvases their first impressions of a scene. The people and objects in the picture were quickly painted in, often right on the spot out of doors. Therefore they were not carefully drawn as they had been before that time. Someone wrote that this made the people or objects appear as they do in the distance rather than being looked at closely near at hand.

Maybe this is why this painting feels as if we might be looking at this little girl out of a window.

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