Christine Lerolle Embroidering

Pierre-August Renoir (French, 1841 - 1919)

circa 1895. Oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 25 7/8". 1991.001.057

By the 1890s, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, one of the originators of Impressionism, had achieved a remarkable synthesis of his Impressionist techniques and the techniques of some of the old master painters. Here, the figure of Christine Lerolle, daughter of an art collector, fills the frame in a manner that recalls paintings by Velázquez, whose work Renoir admired very much. Renoir has taken up a traditional theme in Western art: the interests and activities that the nineteenth century considered appropriate to each sex—reading, writing, and the appreciation of fine art for men and the pursuit of domestic arts for women. In the background, two male visitors are admiring works by Renoir and Edgar Degas.

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