Shepherdess (1886 – 1887) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Shepherdess - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - 1886 - 1887

Artwork Information

ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Date1886 - 1887
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Shepherdess

The artwork titled “Shepherdess” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir was created between 1886 and 1887. It is an oil on canvas piece that exemplifies the Impressionist movement, a genre noted for its depiction of light and its fleeting effects, as well as the pursuit of capturing the essence of the subject rather than the fine details. It falls under the category of genre painting, which often portrays scenes from everyday life. This particular piece is privately owned and not currently displayed in a public institution.

The artwork features a young shepherdess captured in a pastoral setting, a moment of rural tranquility and everyday life that is characteristic of genre painting. She stands in the midst of a vibrant landscape with an attentive and peaceful expression, reflecting a serene connection with her surroundings. The shepherdess is dressed in a traditional, long-sleeved blouse with patterns, and a long skirt that reaches her ankles. With her left hand, she is holding a rope loosely tied to the collar of a sheep, while her right hand guides a cow. Both the sheep and the cow are rendered with soft brushstrokes typical of Impressionist technique, blurring the details and providing a sense of movement and life to the animals.

The landscape around the figures is awash with a tapestry of warm colors, suggesting a late afternoon with the sun setting, possibly in the warmth of early autumn. In this landscape, Renoir has applied a myriad of brushstrokes to create a field abundant with wildflowers and foliage, which leads to traditional rural homes in the distance. The sky, done in soft purple and pink hues, adds to the overall harmonious and peaceful atmosphere of the scene. Renoir’s skill in capturing the light and the vibrant, living quality of the outdoors is evident, demonstrating his masterful contribution to the Impressionist art movement.

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