The modest background that surrounds the young woman is imbued with a sense of bourgeois calm and comfort: she is absorbed in her book, and sits tranquilly on a soft armchair, still wearing her hat. Renoir emphasises the lyrical quality of colour, testing warmer hues of red and pink offset by cooler greens and blues to describe a calm scene of domesticity, intimacy and quietude. An ennobler of the mundane, Renoir painted for visual delight, immersing himself in his modern, contradictory world, and emerging only with images of pleasure.
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