Lot 9
  • 9

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

1,100,000 - 1,500,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Tête de jeune fille
  • signed Renoir (upper right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 41.5 by 33cm.
  • 16 1/4 by 13in.


Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist on 18th April 1896)

Durand-Ruel Gallery, New York (acquired from the above on 30th March 1897)

Dr & Mrs T. Edward Hanley, Bradford, Pennsylvania (acquired from the above on 1st April 1936)

Denver Art Museum, Denver (a gift from the above in 1974. Sold: Christie’s, New York, 11th November 1997, lot 101)

Private Collection (sold: Sotheby’s, New York, 10th May 2001, lot 206)

Purchased at the above sale by the late owner


New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings from the Hanley Collection, 1961, no. 30 (as dating from 1894-95)

Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Works from the Hanley Collection, 1968, no. 97 (titled Le Chapeau Rouge and as dating from 1894)


François Daulte, Auguste Renoir, Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint, Les Figures, 1860-1890, Lausanne, 1971, vol. I, no. 644, illustrated p. 407

‘Chronique des arts’, in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Paris, February 1973, fig. 552, illustrated p. 156 (titled Le Chapeau rouge)

Catalogue Note

Along with the portraits of women for which he was so widely acclaimed, Renoir painted numerous likenesses of young children throughout his career. Initially, formal portraits of children constituted an important part of his output, but as he became more established, with the exigencies that led him to accept paid commissions diminishing, he developed a new approach. Focusing less on a precise rendering of their features, he began to concentrate increasingly on capturing a mood or sensibility in his paintings. Tête de jeune fille is a beautiful illustration of this shift in emphasis, with the young girl’s features blurred and her face almost obscured under the wide brim of her hat. Renoir’s interest in costume and clothing is evident from his earliest portraits of the fashionable women of Paris and he was known to have had elaborate hats made especially for his models, but in the present work the girl’s hat is painted in the same loose, exuberant brushstrokes that fill the rest of the canvas.

This new and increasingly liberated style represented a marked change from the more formal aesthetic that had dominated his work of the 1880s. Where he had previously been inspired by the elegant and restrained lines of the Renaissance masters, he became interested in the examples of the eighteenth-century masters Watteau and Fragonard, as John House explains: ‘His brushwork of the 1890s retains Fragonard’s imprint in its increasingly rhythmic, cursive movements, which model form and create decorative pattern in the same gesture… He was preoccupied with finding a definitive, simple range of colours for his palette which would serve every need, in his obsessive concern with mastering the craft of painting’ (J. House, ‘Renoir’s World’, in Renoir (exhibition catalogue), The Hayward Gallery, London, 1985, p. 250). Tête de jeune fille represents a glorious return to a freer and more emphatic style, combining rich colour with sweeping brushstrokes in a work that is filled with a warm and vibrant energy.