Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
Young Woman in White Reading, 1873
Oil on canvas, 35 x 27 cm
In this leisurely modern life scene Renoir depicts a fashionably dressed woman reading a novel. During the summer of 1873 Renoir stayed with Monet at his home in Argenteuil. The woman in this picture may have been modelled on Monet’s wife Camille, who Renoir painted reading on several occasions. Throughout his career Renoir made many small oil studies of women in domestic settings; these often blur the distinctions between portraiture and genre-painting. Renoir’s sketchy brushwork and application of paint in thin layers reflect his close association with Monet at this time.
About the artist
Renoir was one of the leading members of the Impressionist group. He is best known for his scenes of fashionable Parisians at leisure. In the late 1860s he and Monet painted at La Grenouillère, the supposed “birthplace” of the Impressionism. He contributed works to four of the Impressionist exhibitions.