Lot 153
  • 153

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

400,000 - 600,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Fille au corset bleu (Une blonde aux yeux bleus, vue de trois quarts sur un fond jaune)
  • Signed Renoir (lower left)
  • Pastel on paper laid down on board
  • 24 1/8 by 17 5/8 in.
  • 61.4 by 44.7 cm


Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired directly from the artist in 1902)
Albert Bernier, Paris (and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 23, 1910, lot 48)
Sale: Christie's, New York, November 7, 2001, lot 409
Acquired at the above sale


Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. II, Paris, 2009, no. 1438, illustrated p. 472

Catalogue Note

Jeanne Samary, an acclaimed actress at the Comédie-Française, was Renoir’s muse from 1877 to 1880. They met at one of the elite literary salons hosted by Georges Charpentier, director of a notable Parisian publishing house, and his wife Marguerite. The artist was a regular visitor of these soirées which were also frequented by writers such as Flaubert, the Goncourts and Zola. Renoir preferred not to work with professional models, and his studio’s proximity to the actress’s own apartment led to a wonderful collaboration that resulted in several elegant portraits of Samary that reveal the startling beauty and character that held her salon audience so captive. The writer Jules Claretie remembered her vividly: “She was the muse of the Comédie; she had the smile of Marivaux, the imagination of Regnard, the wit of Molière, she was a star of contemporary art” (quoted in H. Dottrens, "Chronique Parisienne, Mme Jeanne Samary" in Le Passe-Temps, no. 40, September 28, 1890, p. 3).

By 1874, as Renoir began to acquire some renown and achieve a level of financial security, he began to experiment with pastels. Although the medium had seen an increase in popularity more generally, Renoir preferred to use it exclusively for his most intimate works—particularly where the sitters were close friends and family; using the pastels to effectively catch their “fleeting shadow of emotion” (François Daulte, Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Watercolours, Pastels and Drawings in Colour, London, 1959, p. 10).