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The Parisian Girl [La Parisienne]

RENOIR, Pierre-Auguste (1841 - 1919)

The Parisian Girl

Date: 1874

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 163.2 x 108.3 cm

Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 2495

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

In 1874 this painting was included in the first Impressionist exhibition. The sitter was Madame Henriette Henriot, who acted at the Odéon in 1863-68. Renoir often used her as a model. By giving the painting the title La Parisienne, he indicated that it represents a type, rather than a particular individual. A reviewer of the 1874 exhibition wrote 'The toe of her ankle boot is almost invisible, and peeps out like a little black mouse. Her hat is tilted over one ear and is daringly coquettish...The smile is false, and the face is a strange mixture of the old and the childish. But there is still something naive about her. One gets the impression that this little lady is trying hard to look chaste. The dress, which is extremely well painted, is a heavenly blue.' Formerly in the distinguished collection of Henri Rouart, a friend of Degas, where it was admired by such artists as Paul Signac, this work was purchased by Gwendoline Davies in 1913.

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