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La Liseuse
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La Liseuse
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La Liseuse

US
NY, US
US

About the item

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Liseuse\nStamped with the signature Renoir (lower left) (Lugt 2137b)\nOil on canvas\n11 by 7 1/8 in.\n28 by 18.1 cm\nPainted in 1906.
US
NY, US
US

notes

The subject of women reading was one that had absorbed Renoir since the 1870s.  In 1872 he painted Madame Claude Monet Lisant (Daulte 73, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusets) and in 1874 the celebrated La Liseuse (Daulte 106, Musée d'Orsay, Paris).

Part of the great appeal of the subject for Renoir was the challenge to capture a model utterly engaged in another activity and therefore naturally posed rather than in a deliberate posture.  The subject also provoked Renoir's deep sense of artistic tradition.  John House noted that, “Pictures of girls reading had been common at least since the eighteenth century” (John House in Renoir, The Hayward Gallery and travelling, 1985, p. 225).  Renoir may have known paintings such as Fragonard's L'Etude (The Louvre, Paris) which portrays a woman with a book.  With La liseuse, Renoir was able to elevate the subject by emphasising the concentration of the reader, creating a striking pictorial tension between the face of the reader and the book that she is holding.

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

dimensions

11 by 7 1/8 in. 28 by 18.1 cm

literature

Ed. Bernheim-Jeune, L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, vol. 1, no. 319, illustrated pl. 98

provenance

Estate of the artist

Valentine Gallery, New York

Mrs. Harry B. Spaulding, Buffalo (acquired from trhe above in 1935)

By descent from the above and sold: Christie's, New York, May 5, 2005, lot 261

Private Collection





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