The Little School Boy (1879) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Little School Boy - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleThe Little School Boy
ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Dimensions61.3 x 46 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Little School Boy

The artwork titled “The Little School Boy” is a creation by the acclaimed artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, dated 1879. The medium employed is oil on canvas, distinctive of the Impressionist art movement. The portrait measures 61.3 by 46 cm and is part of a private collection. Renoir’s work is renowned for its vibrant light and saturated color, as well as its candidness and intimacy, which captures his subjects with warmth and immediacy.

In “The Little School Boy,” the viewer is presented with a full-length portrait of a young boy poised in a semi-profile stance. He is clad in a formal, dark-colored outfit typical of the late 19th-century school attire, consisting of a double-breasted coat, shorts, and high boots. The boy’s ensemble is complemented by a white collar and cuffs, lending an air of neatness and formality to his appearance. A hat adorns his head, enhancing the sense of the period’s fashion.

The boy is holding a collection of books tightly against his body, suggesting a degree of scholarly diligence or perhaps a hint of the anxiety sometimes associated with academic endeavors. His expression conveys a mix of youthful innocence and a burgeoning sense of self-awareness, indicative of the cusp of adolescence.

Renoir’s impressionistic brushwork is evident in the soft-focus background, allowing the figure to emerge with a sense of immediacy. Light seems to caress the boy’s face, highlighting his youthful complexion and the attentiveness in his gaze. The diffuse background with its warm tones provides a harmonious contrast to the crisp attire of the boy, emphasizing the centrality of his figure in the composition.

This work exemplifies Renoir’s skill in portraiture and his contribution to the Impressionist movement. It conveys the fleeting nature of childhood, the social customs of the time, and the universal experience of growing up.

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