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Petit nu bleu (Little Blue Nude)

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841-1919

Petit nu bleu (Little Blue Nude), ca. 1878-1879

oil on canvas

support: 18 1/4 x 15 inches (46.355 x 38.1 cm); framed: 25 3/4 x 22 3/16 x 4 1/8 inches (65.4 x 56.36 x 10.48 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

General Purchase Funds, 1941

1941:2

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, undated / lower left / Renoir

Provenance

collection Madame Weiss;
sold to Durand-Ruel and Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, "en compte a demi", November 10, 1921;
to Jean Henri Laroche, Paris, possibly in 1919, but by 1922;
to his son Jacques Laroche, Paris;
sold to Paul Rosenberg, Paris and New York, December 1938;
sold to the Albright Art Gallery, February 10, 1941

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

During the late 1870s Pierre-Auguste Renoir began applying Impressionist theory to the rendering of the human figure—a process that would lay the foundations for the rest of his artistic career. Ultimately, Renoir developed an ideal body type: placid, soft-textured women who possess physical qualities reminiscent of the voluptuous nymphs often depicted in eighteenth-century French Rococo painting. The artist became increasingly preoccupied with the ways in which light danced over these supple, receptive surfaces, and his preferred subject after 1876 was the nude bather. The model that sat for Little Blue Nude is traditionally identified as Marguerite “Margot” Legrand (French, unknown–1879), a young woman whose skin Renoir said “took the light.” He painted her several times during this period. Here, she appears in a sleepy, dream-like state, posed in a natural, but abstracted landscape. In the artist’s own words, such paintings embody his desire “to paint nudes as if they were some splendid fruit.”

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