The Misery of Life
Department of Art after 1800
|Medium, technique||oil on canvas|
56.5 x 47 cm
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||This artwork is not on display|
Although Renoir was, alongside Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, one of the most revered impressionist masters, the artist took some distance from the impressionist approach and technique during the 1880s, putting aside the rendering of the fleeting moment to devote himself to a more traditional way of painting. His so-called Ingresque style, referring to Renoir’s declared admiration for the classical manner of the great French master, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, primarily emphasised line and drawing. This charming, delicate depiction of a young girl was made by Renoir in a later period when the artist returned to a looser, freer way of painting, around 1895. The details of the model’s white garment also confirm that the work was made at the time: she is wearing a tight white bodice with a high collar and large, puffed sleeves. Often called “leg-of-mutton” or “gigot” sleeves because of their characteristic shape, these came into fashion after 1890. The young woman depicted here can be recognised as an unidentified model appearing in several of the artist’s works of the period. Nevertheless, the lack of expression and psychological characterisation suggest that this painting was probably not intended as a portrait, but rather as a study of form and colour.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.