Mademoiselle Legrand (1875) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Mademoiselle Legrand - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - 1875

Artwork Information

TitleMademoiselle Legrand
ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, US

About Mademoiselle Legrand

The artwork titled “Mademoiselle Legrand,” created by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1875, epitomizes the Impressionist movement. Renoir’s use of oil on canvas has crafted a portrait that exudes the distinctive qualities of impressionism, with its play of light and brushwork creating an intimate representation of the subject. This piece is currently housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, forming part of their esteemed collection.

The artwork portrays a young girl, presented in a frontal, semi-seated pose, engaging the viewer with a direct and gentle gaze. Her hair is light and loosely gathered, cascading in soft curls, and her face is rendered with the delicate pinks and flesh tones that are indicative of Renoir’s skillful depiction of skin. The girl’s attire is modest and of the period, with a white blouse topped by a dark sleeveless dress and a blue ribbon tied at the collar, hinting at the social norms and fashion of that time.

Renoir’s brushwork is visibly fluid and lively, heightening the sense of spontaneity and momentary sensation that characterizes the Impressionist style. The background, executed with loose and expressive strokes, contrasts with the more finely detailed rendering of the girl’s features and clothing, drawing the eye to her expression. The warmth of the subject contrasts against the cooler, subdued tones of the backdrop, creating an effect of depth and emphasizing the figure’s presence.

The portrait’s composition and the artist’s technique create a sense of immediacy, capturing more than just the physical likeness of Mademoiselle Legrand. It speaks to the viewer on an emotional level, conveying the essence of the sitter’s character and the ambient light of the moment in which she was painted, hallmarks of Renoir’s Impressionist approach.

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