The Dreamer

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Dreamer, 1879

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Dreamer (La Rêveuse), 1879. Oil on canvas 20 1⁄8 × 24 3⁄8 in. Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum purchase

The model for this painting is thought to be Alphonsine Fournaise, whom Renoir often saw at the Maison Fournaise in Chatou in the late 1870s. She posed for him regularly during the years leading up to Luncheon of the Boating Party. Although there is no direct evidence that Alphonsine modeled for the young woman leaning on the railing of the balcony in the grand composition, she may have occasionally joined the clientele at the Fournaise in such a way.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, On the Shore of the Seine, c. 1879

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, On the Shore of the Seine (Paysage bords de Seine), c. 1879. Oil on linen; 5 1/2 × 9 1⁄8 in. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Saidie A. May Bequest, Courtesy of the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company

Installed just to the left of this lovely portrait is a smaller, almost sketch-like painting. This quickly executed oil study was probably a gift from Renoir to Alphonsine Fournaise to thank her for modeling for him. In 1864 she married Louis Joseph Papillon, and we know that a Madame Papillon once owned this piece.

One thought on “The Dreamer

  1. I was just looking at the Wax room in France and at the Phillips by the German artist, Wolfgang Laib – I have to see this if it is still on exhibition.

    I am an artist who did live in DC and now outside NYC. Studied at The Corcoran with Bill Christenberry and miss him.

    I also am aware that Mr Ottmann organized Jennifer Bartlett’s traveling retrospective exhibition in 2013.
    Can you tell me if Jennifer is still working? I saw her three years ago and not since.

    I love all you do!!

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