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The Parisian Girl [La Parisienne]

RENOIR, Pierre-Auguste (1841 - 1919)

[image: 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.

14 comments

Donna Henderson on 29 June 2014, 15:20

We are amazed at how this painting is the image of our 4 year old daughter Nadine, a few people have said it weird !!!!!

John on 22 June 2014, 20:08

Have been visiting the Blue Lady for 50 years. Never fails to take my breath away.

Winifred on 16 May 2014, 22:55

Whenever I visit the museum, I have to go and see this painting. It really blows me away every time I see it. I think it is very beautiful and has to be my favourite painting of all time.

Kathryn on 13 February 2014, 21:01

I grew up visiting the Museum with my father, and later loved to take my daughters there. We always paid the Parisian lady a visit. She feels like an old friend.

Maureen tadd on 24 January 2014, 11:15

I am fortunate being born in Cardiff and able to see this beautiful painting from a young child. I still see it often and it still has the ability to take my breath away .

Derek manning on 16 August 2013, 16:55

I visited the museum yesterday and could not believe what I saw. The Blue Lady is fantastic and dominates you with her beauty. I have seen her many times in my books of the impressionists but to see her in the flesh, so to speak, literally takes your breath away. The whole museum is fantastic

Gwendolyn on 14 June 2013, 21:15

I have always loved this picture from the moment I saw it as a young child and visited the picture. Now I a 44 year old I look forward just looking thinking about what she went through life to get to where she was at point in life when the picture was being done. The texture of the art, the ability to inspire life fashion and humanity in one picture is amazing. I live in Wales I feel so lucky to have this picture on my door step. I feel the blue lady helps me focus my brain from the busy life I lead. My husband likes to see this lady and says that she is the other lady in his life besides me. We have the blue lady poster in our house

Eve on 19 August 2012, 17:47

I absolutely love this beautiful painting!

Also amazing thing about it: wherever you go in the room the lady's eyes follow you!

Michael Rees on 23 April 2012, 20:13

Whilst a young boy , my father left me to wander the museum while he went to a meeting. I climbed the stairs and entered the gallery and turned to my left and there she was, I was spellbound there was the girl from the postage stamp !I was 11 years old and an avid stamp collector . There was an assistant and I asked "Is it the real one ? " He smiled and nodded . I stayed there all afternoon , staring at the girl from the postage stamp !

Frank H Jolliffe on 6 September 2010, 10:18

I hope that this painting commands the staircase where I was spellbound many years ago by what to me is the centrepiece of your wonderful collection

Ellis Terrell,jr. (U.S.A.) on 15 January 2010, 09:26

This work is awesome and typical, for an Impressionist painter of the genre time period. Renoir was a well-acclaimed Impressionist painter, that painted from his heart. He knew his subjects well, their interest, mood, and willingness, to sit during an artist session. The Impressionist painters; painted as if they were given still-cameras, to create their individual works of art. I can only imagine what the actual blue color, would look like, if this was taken with a camera.

ffion on 26 October 2009, 09:24

this picture is very nice . The artist must of liked blue because in most of his pictures blue is in it.
Mae llun hon yn neis iawn . Y arlinwidd yn hoffi las achos maen wewn rhan fwy o ei lluniau.Gan ffion . 10 blwydd oed

jodie on 26 October 2009, 09:24

there is a lot of blue in this picturs

Ronni on 14 April 2009, 08:56

i love this painting! its so cool! i went to see it on Thursday at the musiem! it was awsome...

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