Portrait de Femme (Gabrielle Renard)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Oil on canvas, signed. Painted c.1912
Canvas size: 20 x 16in / 51 x 41cm
Frame size: 30 x 26in / 76 x 66cm
The present work depicts Gabrielle Renard, his wife’s cousin as well as long-term nanny for the Renoir children. She was much loved by the household and remained particularly close to Jean, the artist’s son, even relocating to live nearer him when her own husband died. There is a tangible sense of love and intimacy that underpins Renoir’s many portraits of Gabrielle and infuses them with a particular warmth, captured not only in the palette but also in the exuberant freedom of the brushwork. This particular work is exemplary of Renoir’s pre-eminence at rendering light as it fell upon the human form, a key feature of his mature portraiture and testament to his lifelong objective to become – as he explained to Claude Monet in 1884 – “a painter of figures”.
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1919)
Mrs. Dübi-Müller, Solothurn, Switzerland
Private Collection (sold: Christie’s, New York, 12th May 1987, lot 35)
Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
The Estate of Elizabeth Green Romano (acquired from the above in 2003)
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2014, vol. V, no. 4100, illustrated p. 276
This work is accompanied by an Attestation of Inclusion from the Wildenstein Institute, and it will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute.