Young Girls Looking at an Album (Primary Title)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841 - 1919 (Artist)

ca. 1892
oil on canvas
Unframed: 32 × 25 1/2 in. (81.28 × 64.77 cm)
Framed: 41 1/4 × 35 1/4 in. (104.78 × 89.54 cm)

Children and adolescents were a constant source of inspiration for Renoir, and they figured in his work throughout his career. The painter experimented with using light touches and freely applied gestures to capture the sincerity as well as the delicate traits and characteristic flush of his young subjects.

In this double portrait, Renoir explored subtle contrasts between colors and principles of figuration. One girl has blonde hair, the other is a brunette; one leans back in her chair while the other stoops forward to examine the album open in the lap of her companion. The artist’s color scheme adds to the dynamic relationships between these compositional elements, particularly through the inverse proportions of pinks and whites for each girl’s wardrobe. Renoir’s use of subjects and models from his everyday environment demonstrates the influence of 18th-century genre scenes, yet his distinctive brushwork made paintings such as this one unmistakably modern in the eyes of his contemporaries.

Signed at lower right: "Renoir"
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

Degas, Impressionism & the Paris Millinery Trade, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, June 24 - September 24, 2017

Renoir. Intimacy, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, October 18, 2016 – January 22, 2017; Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, February 7 – May 15, 2017

Nineteenth Century French and Russian Art: Works from the Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Univeristy of Richmond Museums, February 23 - April 27, 2014

Late Renoir, Grand Palais, Paris, September 23, 2009 - January 4, 2010; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 14 - May 9, 2010; Philadelphia Museum of Art, June 17 - September 5, 2010

L'impressiomisme vu d'Amérique, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, June 2 - September 9, 2007; Musée de Grenoble, October 9, 2007 - January 20, 2008

The Shock of Modernism in America, Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts, Roslyn, NY, April 29 - July 29, 1984

Degas, VMFA, May 23 - July 9, 1978

19th century French Paintings from the Virginia Museum Collection, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke, VA, February 11 - March 12, 1978

Color, VMFA Artmobile exhibition, April 1974 - June 1975

Paintings by Renoir, Art Institute of Chicago, February 3 - April 1, 1973

Faces from the World of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Wildenstein & Company, New York, November 1 - December 9, 1972

Renoir: In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Renoir's Death, Wildenstein & Company, New York, March 27 - May 3, 1969

Modern French Painting Exhibition, Norfolk Museum, March 1958; Mary Baldwin College, April 1958

Miller & Rhoads Company, Richmond, VA, February 11, 1958
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.