Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

New York

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
1841 - 1919
Signed Renoir. (upper right)
Oil on canvas
16 1/4 by 13 in.
41.3 by 33 cm
Painted circa 1890. 
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This work will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

This work will be included in the second supplement to the Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles de Pierre-Auguste Renoir being prepared by Guy Patrice Dauberville and Floriane Dauberville.


Ambroise Vollard, Paris (acquired from the artist before 1919)
Georges Wildenstein, Paris (acquired from the estate of the above by 1947)
Wildenstein Arte S.A., Buenos Aires (acquired by 1948)
Private Collection, Argentina (acquired from the above in 1948 and thence by descent)
Acquired from the above


Buenos Aires, Wildenstein Arte S.A., Renoir, 1949, no. 5
Buenos Aires, Museo nacional de bellas artes, El Impresionismo francés en las colecciones argentinas, 1962, no. 2627
Buenos Aires, Wildenstein & Co., Renoir, 1974, n.n.

Catalogue Note

Renoir dedicated as much attention to his informal portraits as to those commissioned by his wealthy patrons. His portraits of women received overwhelming praise from his contemporaries, and were admired for their docility and sensual, albeit innocent, allure. These stylized pictures appealed to contemporary tastes but also paid homage to the genre painting of French eighteenth-century artists. The contemporary critic Théodore Duret wrote of the artist's skill as a portrait painter, stating: “Renoir excels at portraits. Not only does he catch the external features, but through them he pinpoints the model’s character and inner self. I doubt whether any painter has ever interpreted women in a more seductive manner. The lively touches of Renoir’s brush are charming, supple and unrestrained, making flesh transparent and tinting the cheeks and lips with a perfect living hue. Renoir’s women are enchantresses” (quoted in Histoire des peintres impressionists, Paris, 1922, pp. 27-28).

In contrast to the formal portraits of Parisian socialites, Renoir's pictures of anonymous young women allowed him to take liberties in his manner of execution. These sitters were often of the working class—seamstresses, flower sellers, milliners, actresses and dancers—who agreed to pose in return for compensation. As he had no obligation to portray his sitters with a refined demeanor or in the fashionable clothes of the time, the artist was able to concentrate on their natural beauty and freely experiment with his brushwork. This is clearly evident in Tête de jeune fille, in which Renoir contrasts the feathery brushstrokes of the sitter’s face with the bolder red and blue hues of her hair and the background. This ethereal handling of light creates a quintessentially impressionist aesthetic.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

New York