Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer)
Oil on canvas
32 x 25 3/4 in. (81.3 x 65.4 cm)
Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
Not on view
Between 1888 and 1892 Renoir painted a number of works in which the same pair of girls—the blonde wearing a white frock and the brunette a pink one—engage in leisurely pastimes. Here, they pick flowers; the same models appear at the piano in a painting now in the Museum's Lehman Collection (1975.1.201). These intimate genre scenes, which celebrate youthful innocence, found a ready market in the early 1890s.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Renoir.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1892; bought from artist on March 14 for Fr 2,000, stock no. 2048; sold on April 29 for Fr 10,000 to Potter Palmer]; Mrs. Berthe Honoré Potter Palmer, Chicago (1892–94; sold on November 23 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1894–1906, stock no. 979; sold on February 21 to Emmons]; Arthur B. Emmons, New York and Newport (1906–20; sale, American Art Association, New York, January 14, 1920, no. 46, for $28,000 to Durand-Ruel for Lewisohn); Adolph Lewisohn, New York (1920–38, cat., 1928, p. 136); his son, Samuel A. Lewisohn, New York (1938–51)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, unnumbered cat. (p. 10, lent by Adolph Lewisohn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renoir: A Special Exhibition of His Paintings," May 18–September 12, 1937, no. 55 (lent by the Adolph Lewisohn Collection).
New York. Duveen Galleries. "Renoir, Centennial Loan Exhibition, 1841-1941," November 8–December 6, 1941, no. 61 (as "Dans la prairie [In the Meadow]," lent by the Lewisohn Collection).
New York. Paul Rosenberg & Co. "Delacroix and Renoir," February 16–March 13, 1948, no. 19 (as "Dans la Prairie," about 1890, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lewisohn Collection," November 2–December 2, 1951, no. 69 (Bequest of Samuel A. Lewisohn to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Pierre Auguste Renoir," 1955, no. 53.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Pierre Auguste Renoir," 1955, no. 53.
Tokyo National Museum. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," August 10–October 1, 1972, no. 98.
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Treasured Masterpieces of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 8–November 26, 1972, no. 98.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 71.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 71.
London. Hayward Gallery. "Renoir," January 30–April 21, 1985, no. 85 (as "Gathering Flowers [known as 'In the Meadow']").
Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Renoir," May 14–September 2, 1985, no. 84.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo. "Renoir, o pintor da vida," April 22–July 28, 2002, unnumbered cat. (as "Na campina [À la campagne]").
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne," June 23–November 12, 2006, no. 47.
Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. "Grandes maestros de la pintura europea de The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York: De El Greco a Cézanne," December 1, 2006–March 4, 2007, no. 39.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
"French, English, and American Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (September 1920), p. 207.
Ambroise Vollard. Renoir, An Intimate Record. New York, 1925, p. 246, dates it 1906.
Stephan Bourgeois. The Adolph Lewisohn Collection of Modern French Paintings and Sculptures. New York, 1928, pp. 136–37, ill., dates it about 1894 or 1895.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Renoir. Leipzig, 1929, p. 213, no. 210, ill., dates it 1890.
Samuel A. Lewisohn. "Drama in Painting." Creative Art 9 (September 1931), p. 195, ill. opp. p. 185 (color).
R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, , p. 342, dates it about 1894.
Alfred M. Frankfurter. Renoir, Centennial Loan Exhibition, 1841–1941. Exh. cat., Duveen Galleries. New York, 1941, pp. 83, 155, no. 61, ill., dates it about 1890.
Preface by Edward Alden Jewell inFrench Impressionists and Their Contemporaries Represented in American Collections. New York, 1944, ill. p. 78 (color), dates it about 1894–95.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. New York, 1946, ill. opp. p. 408 (color), dates it about 1895.
Walter Pach. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. New York, 1950, pp. 90–91, ill. (color), dates it about 1890, and states that it recalls Renoir's works of the 1880s, but with a new richness of color.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: Figure Paintings by Renoir. Vol. 34, Album LF, New York, 1952, unpaginated, ill. (color), tentatively identifies the sitters as Julie Manet [Rouart] and Jeannie Gobillard, daughter and niece of Berthe Morisot; dates it to the summer of 1891, when Renoir visited Berthe Morisot in Mézy.
J. Manet Rouart. Letter to H. B. Wehle. February 18, 1952, states that neither she nor her cousin, Jeannie Gobillard, posed for the painting; suggests that the models were the same as those in "Girls at the Piano"; states that since the landscape seems to be that of Mézy, it may very well be dated about 1891.
Bruno F. Schneider. Renoir. Berlin, , p. 45, ill. (color), dates it 1890–94.
Hermann Bünemann. Renoir. Ettal, 1959, pp. 95–96, 214, no. 95, ill. (color), dates it 1890.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 158–59, ill., argue that it is stylistically similar to works of about 1890, rather than to those made around 1895, the period to which it is sometimes dated; state that the soft handling is typical of Renoir's work when he was reacting against exact drawing and the hard forms of his so-called "dry" style.
François Daulte. Auguste Renoir: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 1, Figures. Lausanne, 1971, unpaginated, no. 610, ill., erroneously states that Durand-Ruel sold the painting on December 10, 1912 to Gordon Edwards [see Ref. House 1985].
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, p. 5, dates it about 1890.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 170–71, ill. (color).
John House inRenoir. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. [London], 1985, pp. 133, 256–57, no. 85, ill. (color and black and white), dates it about 1890; mentions the confusion between it and another version (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) when they were both in Durand-Ruel's New York stock; compares the two versions, and believes that they were painted at around the same time and from the same models.
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 242–44, no. 47, ill. p. 243 (color) and on cover (color detail) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 132–33, no. 39, ill. (color)], notes that the girls are possibly models from Paris that appear regularly in Renoir's pictures from 1888 to 1892, and that he probably painted it in his studio rather than outdoors; characterizes the soft handling of paint as a rejection of his mid- to late 1880s linear style.
Katharine Baetjer inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, p. 22 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 19].
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Nineteenth-Century European Art. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2006, p. 425, fig. 17–18 (color), dates it 1890.
Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 2, 1882–1894. Paris, 2009, pp. 182–83, no. 978, ill.