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Nude, c.1872

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas
14-3/4 x 10 in. (37.5 x 25.4 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

This little-known nude likely dates from Renoir’s early career. While its fine, liquid brushwork suggests the first stirrings of Impressionism, a dark brown preparation layer and an insistent realism in the treatment of anatomy point to Gustave Courbet and the 1860s. A weightless wisp of drapery (or cloud) looks still further into the past, to the eighteenth-century goddesses of François Boucher, Renoir’s favorite painter in the Louvre.

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