Self-Portrait (c.1875) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Self-Portrait - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - c.1875

Artwork Information

ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationClark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, US

About Self-Portrait

The artwork in question is a self-portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, an illustrious artist known for his contributions to the Impressionist movement. Created circa 1875, this oil on canvas masterpiece reveals the artist’s self-perception at the time. Stylistically, it aligns with the Impressionist ethos, emphasizing the effects of light and brushwork over detail. This significant piece of art is part of the collection at the Clark Art Institute located in Williamstown, MA, United States, allowing viewers to experience the intimacy of a self-portrait rendered by a master of the era.

In this self-portrait, Renoir employs a vibrant palette and loose brushstrokes characteristic of Impressionism to evoke the vibrancy and immediacy of the moment. The artist’s gaze meets the viewer’s, creating an engaging visual dialogue. The background is rendered in a muted tone, which allows the figure—specifically the face—to dominate the composition, leaving no doubt that this is an exploration of self. The dabs and swirls of color applied to the face and beard infuse the work with a certain dynamism and life, reflecting the fleeting nature of light and form that Impressionists sought to capture. Renoir’s dark attire provides a stark contrast to the lighter tones of his skin and beard, emphasizing his features and the contemplative expression captured in the work.

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