In this commissioned portrait, as Marcel Proust observed, Renoir gave expression to "the poetry of an elegant home and the beautiful dresses of our time." In the Japanese-style sitting room of her Parisian townhouse—the décor and chic gown testifying to her stylish taste—Marguerite Charpentier sits beside her son, Paul. At age three, his locks are still uncut and, in keeping with current fashion, he is dressed identically to his sister Georgette, perched on the family dog. The well-connected publisher's wife, who hosted elite literary salons attended by such writers as Flaubert, the Goncourts, and Zola, used her influence to ensure that the painting enjoyed a choice spot at the Salon of 1879.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Renoir. 78.
Georges Charpentier, Paris (1878–d. 1905; commissioned from the artist, possibly for Fr 1500; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 11, 1907, no. 21, as "La famille Charpentier," for Fr 84,000 to Durand-Ruel for MMA)
Paris. Salon. May 12–June 1879, no. 2527 (as "Portraits de Mme G. C . . . et de ses enfants").
Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts. "Troisième exposition annuelle des XX," February 6–March 7, 1886, no. 2 (as "Mme Charpentier et ses deux enfants," lent by M. Georges Charpentier).
Paris. Galerie Georges Petit. "5e Exposition internationale de peinture et de sculpture," June 15–July 1886, no. 124 (as "Portrait de Mme G. C. et ses Enfants," lent by M. Charpentier).
Paris. Galeries Durand-Ruel. "Exposition A. Renoir," May 1892, no. 110 (as "Portrait," lent by M. Georges Charpentier).
Paris. Galeries Bernheim Jeune et Fils. "Exposition A. Renoir," January 25–February 10, 1900, no. 17 (as "En Famille," lent by M. Charpentier).
Paris. Petit Palais, Paris. "Exposition de l'enfance," 1901, no. 1111 (as "Mme Charpentier et ses Enfants," lent by Mme Georges Charpentier).
Brussels. Musée d'Art Moderne. "Exposition des peintres impressionnistes," February 25–March 29, 1904, no. 129 (as "Portrait de Mme Charpentier et de ses enfants," lent by M. Georges Charpentier).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renoir: A Special Exhibition of His Paintings," May 18–September 12, 1937, no. 22 (as "Mme Charpentier and Her Children").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 148.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 380 (as "Madame Charpentier and Her Children").
Paris. Grand Palais. "Centenaire de l'impressionnisme," September 21–November 24, 1974, no. 38.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, no. 38.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Renoir," October 9, 1985–January 5, 1986, no. 44.
Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age," June 27–September 14, 1997, no. 32.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age," October 17, 1997–January 4, 1998, no. 32.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," September 25, 2012–January 20, 2013, no. 46.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," February 26–May 7, 2013, no. 124.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," June 26–September 29, 2013, no. 124.
Auguste Renoir. Letter to Théodore Duret. October 15, 1878 [published in Ref. White 1984, p. 87], states that it is finished, but that he does not know what to think of it.
Auguste Renoir. Letters to Madame Charpentier. n.d. and November 30,  [published in Ref. Florisoone 1938, p. 35], in two separate letters, requests permission for Mme Manet [Berthe Morisot] and then for Charles Ephrussi and [Charles] Deudon to see it.
Pierre Dax. "Chronique." L'Artiste 1 (March 1879), p. 286.
Théodore de Banville. "Salon de 1879, III." Le National (May 16, 1879), pp. 1–2 [see Refs. Lethève 1959 and Bailey 1997].
Philippe Burty. "Le Salon de 1879—III: Les portraits." La République française (May 27, 1879), p. 3 [see Ref. White 1984], praises the accuracy of the poses and likens the flesh tones to the velvetiness of a huge pastel.
Armand Silvestre. "Le Monde des arts: Demi-dieux et simples mortels au Salon de 1879." La Vie moderne (May 29, 1879), p. 118.
Charles Bigot. "Salon de 1879: II. La peinture." La Revue politique et littéraire 8 (June 7, 1879), pp. 1155–56, finds freshness, youth, and movement in it, criticizing it only for having too much yellow and violet.
J.-K. Huysmans. "Le Salon de 1879." Le Voltaire (June 10, 1879) [reprinted in Huysmans, "L'Art moderne," Paris, 1883, pp. 58–59], remarks that it is the work of an artist who, though included in the official Salon, is an independent.
Ernest Chesneau. "Le Salon de 1879." Le Moniteur universel 160 (June 13, 1879), pp. 810–11 [reprinted in Victor Champier, "L'Année artistique," vol. 2, 1879, p. 108].
Ed[mond]. Renoir. "Cinquième exposition de La Vie Moderne—P. A. Renoir." La Vie moderne (June 19, 1879), p. 175 [reprinted in Ref. Venturi 1939, vol. 2, p. 336 and as "Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Mon frère," Essoyes, 2005], in a letter to Émile Bergerat, relates that no furniture was rearranged in the Charpentier home in preparation for it.
Bertall. "Souvenirs du Salon de 1879." L'Artiste 2 (July 1879), pp. 86–87, remarks upon the charm of the subjects but criticizes the picture's sketchiness and lack of finish.
F[rédéric].-C. de Syène. "Salon de 1879. II." L'Artiste 2 (July 1879), p. 11.
Arthur Baignères. "Le Salon de 1879 (Deuxième article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 20 (July 1879), p. 54.
[Jules] Castagnary. "Salon de 1879. 7e article." Le Siècle (July 2, 1879), p. 2, praises its spontaneity and lack of convention.
Auguste Renoir. Letters to Octave Maus. January 3, 4, [5–10], 1886 [published in Ref. Venturi 1939, vol. 2, pp. 227–29].
Auguste Renoir. Letter to Madame Charpentier. [Spring 1886] [published in Ref. Florisoone 1938, p. 38], states that its inclusion was the only reason for his acceptance into the Galerie Petit exhibition [Exh. Paris 1886].
Auguste Renoir. Letter to Durand-Ruel. January 4, 1900 [published in Ref. Venturi 1939, vol. 1, pp. 156–57], suggests that Durand-Ruel might borrow it for a possible exhibition.
Julien Leclercq. "Petites expositions: Expositions A. Renoir." Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts no. 5 (February 3, 1900), p. 39, describes it as a Japanese interior, erroneously referring to both children as Mme Charpentier's daughters.
Charles Angrand. Letter to Paul Signac. March 1900 [published in François Lespinasse, ed., "Charles Angrand: Correspondances 1883–1926," Rouen, 1988, p. 120], mentions seeing this picture at Bernheim-Jeune's Renoir exhibition [Exh. Paris 1900].
C. L. de Moncade. "Le Peintre Renoir et le Salon d'Automne." La Liberté 10 (October 15, 1904), unpaginated [translated and published in Barbara Ehrlich White, ed., "Impressionism in Perspective," Englewood Cliffs, 1978, p. 22]
, interviews Renoir, who recalls that Mme Charpentier used her influence with the members of the 1879 Salon jury to ensure its favorable placement.
Théodore Duret. Histoire des peintres impressionistes. Paris, 1906, pp. 140–42, 144, ill. p. 137 [translated and reprinted in Ref. Duret 1912], states that M. Charpentier commissioned it after Renoir had completed a portrait bust of his wife (Musée d'Orsay, Paris); credits Mme Charpentier for its inclusion in the Salon.
Durand-Ruel. Letter to Wm. Church Osborn. March 11, 1907 [MMA Archives: "Paintings-Purchased Renoir-'La Famille Charpentier' 1907–08, 1919" file], calls it "an absolute masterpiece" that is "finer than anything the Museum now possesses" and erroneously refers to it as the portrait of Mme Charpentier and her daughters.
Paul Durand-Ruel. Letters to Roger Fry. April 5 and 11, 1907 [see Ref. Distel 1985, p. 29 n. 77], suggests that Fry purchase it at the Charpentier sale; informs Fry that the bid was successful.
Roger Fry. Letter to R. C. Trevelyan. April 12, 1907 [published in Ref. Sutton 1972, vol. 1, p. 284, no. 221], states that he has just returned from purchasing it in Paris.
Roger E. Fry. Letter to Edward Robinson. April 12, 1907 [MMA Archives: "Paintings-Purchased Renoir 'La Famille Charpentier' 1907–08, 1919" file], reports that Durand-Ruel bid successfully for the painting on behalf of the Museum; calls Renoir the "Gainsborough of the nineteenth century".
Georges Durand-Ruel. Letter to Renoir. May 3, 1907 [published in Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy, ed., "Correspondance de Renoir et Durand-Ruel, 1907–1919," Lausanne, 1995, p. 13], reports that it was sold.
R[oger]. E. F[ry]. "The Charpentier Family by Renoir." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 2 (June 1907), pp. 102–4, ill., calls it "by common consent one of the finest, if not the finest work" by Renoir, noting its expression of "the animalism of childhood".
Auguste Renoir. Letter to the Metropolitan Museum. August 21, 1907 [MMA Archives], writes: "Ci joint la notice biographique que vous m'avez demandée par votre lettre de 27 juillet dernier, 21 aout 07, Renoir" (Attached is the biographical statement that you requested from me in your letter dated last July 27); sent together with a two-page biographical statement in another hand stating that the portrait was painted in the "petit salon" of the Charpentier home and misstating the date of the painting as 1877.
Léonce Bénédite. "Madame Charpentier and Her Children, by Auguste Renoir." Burlington Magazine 12 (December 1907), pp. 130–32, 135, ill. p. 128.
Frank Fowler. "The Field of Art: Modern Foreign Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, Some Examples of the French School." Scribner's Magazine 44 (September 1908), p. 384.
James Huneker. Promenades of an Impressionist. New York, 1910, pp. 242–44, 249, states that Durand-Ruel purchased it on behalf of the MMA; erroneously calls the dog a Saint Bernard and both children girls.
Emil Waldmann. "Französische Bilder in amerikanischem Privatbesitz II." Kunst und Künstler 9 (December 1910), pp. 145–46, ill.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Auguste Renoir. Munich, 1911, pp. 58, 66–70, ill. [French ed., 1912, pp. 54, 62–64, ill.].
Théodore Duret. Manet and the French Impressionists. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1910]. London, 1912, pp. 177–78, ill. between pp. 176–77.
Harry Graf Kessler. "Deutschland und die Auslandskunst." Deutsche und französische Kunst: Eine Auseinandersetzung deutscher Künstler, Galerieleiter, Sammler und Schriftsteller. 2nd. ed. Munich, , p. 122.
Charles Louis Borgmeyer. The Master Impressionists. Chicago, 1913, pp. 124–26, 148, 229, ill. p. 99.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Nineteenth-Century French Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13 (August 1918), pp. 179–80, ill.
Ambroise Vollard. La Vie & l'œuvre de Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Paris, 1919, pp. 100–101 [reprinted in Vollard, "Le Salon de Mme Charpentier," L'Art et les artistes 1 (January 1920), pp. 168–69, ill. p. 163; English ed., 1925, pp. 96–97], interviews Renoir, who recalls Mme Charpentier's role in admitting it to the Salon, and states that he was paid about Fr 1,000 for it, an exceptional price for the time [see Refs. Duret 1924 and Bailey 1997].
"Renoir." Bulletin de la vie artistique 1 (December 15, 1919), p. 36, ill. p. 33, states that Renoir was paid Fr 500 for this picture [see Ref. Bailey 1997].
Félix Fénéon. "Souvenirs sur Manet." Bulletin de la vie artistique 1 (October 15, 1920), p. 610, interviews Henri Gervex, who recalls that Cabanel rehung it in a more favorable position at the Salon.
Paul Jamot. "The Acquisitions of the Louvre During the War—IV." Burlington Magazine 37 (November 1920), p. 220, refers to the portrait of Mme Charpentier in Paris as a study for it.
Georges Rivière. Renoir et ses amis. Paris, 1921, pp. 77, 177, ill. p. 180.
Paul Jamot. "Renoir (1841–1919) (premier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (November 1923), pp. 274–77, ill.
Paul Jamot. "Renoir (1841–1919) (deuxième et dernier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (December 1923), p. 336.
Théodore Duret. Renoir. Paris, 1924, pp. 54–55, 57–58, 65–66, fig. 14 [English ed., pp. 41, 43–44, 49, fig. 5 ].
Madeleine Octave Maus. Trente années de lutte pour l'art: 1884–1914. Brussels, 1926, p. 43 n. 1, pp. 312, 325.
Julius Meier-Graefe. Renoir. Leipzig, 1929, pp. 104–7, 217, ill.
George Besson. Auguste Renoir. Paris, 1929, pp. 7, 9, pl. 6.
Roger Fry. Characteristics of French Art. London, 1932, pp. 142–43, pl. XXXVII.
Albert C. Barnes and Violette De Mazia. The Art of Renoir. New York, 1935, pp. 398–99, 412, 449, no. 79.
Sam A. Lewisohn. Painters and Personality: A Collector's View of Modern Art. [New York], 1937, pl. 14.
Michel Florisoone. Renoir. Paris, 1937, pp. 24, 166, ill. p. 85 [English ed., 1938].
Claude Roger-Marx. Renoir. Paris, 1937, pp. 45–46, ill. p. 65.
Harry B. Wehle. Renoir: A Special Exhibition of His Paintings. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1937, pp. 6–7, no. 22, ill.
Josephine L. Allen. "Paintings by Renoir." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32 (May 1937), p. 110.
Henry McBride. "The Renoirs in America." Art News 35 (May 1, 1937), pp. 59, 158, ill. p. 68.
Michel Florisoone. "Renoir et la famille Charpentier." L'Amour de l'art 19 (February 1938), pp. 31, 35–38, ill.
Lionello Venturi. Les Archives de l'impressionnisme. Paris, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 42–43, 47, 157; vol. 2, pp. 227–29, 336.
R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, , pp. 42–43, 62, 248.
Charles Terrasse. Cinquante portraits de Renoir. Paris, 1941, unpaginated, pl. 13.
Michel Drucker. Renoir. Paris, 1944, pp. 48, 50–51, 131, 185, 196, 219, pl. 49, identifies the children as Georgette and Paul Charpentier; states that Renoir received Fr 1,000 for it; mentions three other portraits of Mme Charpentier by Renoir.
John Rewald. "Auguste Renoir and His Brother." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 27 (March 1945), p. 186, fig. 5 [reprinted in Rewald, "Studies in Impressionism," New York, 1985, p. 18, fig. 4], calls it "Mme Charpentier and Her Daughters" in the caption and "Portrait of Madame Charpentier" in the text.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. New York, 1946, pp. 338–40, 428, ill.
Lucie and André Chamson. Renoir. Lausanne, 1949, pp. 18, 21, pl. 22.
Lionello Venturi. Impressionists and Symbolists. Vol. 2, New York, 1950, pp. 105–6, fig. 104.
Walter Pach. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. New York, 1950, pp. 18, 66–67, ill. (color).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures, French Impressionists: Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Boudin. Vol. 27, Album 51, New York, 1951, unpaginated, ill. (color).
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 233, no. 148, colorpl. 148.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: Figure Paintings by Renoir. Vol. 34, Album LF, New York, 1952, unpaginated, ill. (color).
Misia Sert. Misia and the Muses: The Memoirs of Misia Sert. New York, 1953, p. 85.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 7, ill. p. 51.
Michel Robida. Ces Bourgeois de Paris: Trois siècles de chronique familiale de 1675 à nos jours. Paris, 1955, pp. 118, 131–32, 135, ill. opp. p. 144, notes its original location at the entrance of the "galerie" on the first floor of the Charpentier home at 11, rue de Grenelle; describes Mme Charpentier in this picture as seated in her "Japanese salon" and wearing a dress designed by Worth.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 86.
Michel Robida. Le Salon Charpentier et les impressionnistes. Paris, 1958, pp. 55–59, 81–82, 135, fig. XIII (detail) and ill. on front cover (color detail).
Alfred Frankfurter. "Midas on Parnassus." Art News Annual 28 (1959), p. 35, ill.
Hermann Bünemann. Renoir. Ettal, 1959, pp. 151–52, 210, 212, ill. pp. 64, 152 (color, overall and detail).
Jacques Lethève. Impressionnistes et symbolistes devant la presse. Paris, 1959, pp. 102, 106.
Michel Robida. Renoir enfants. Lausanne, 1959, pp. 9–10, 14, 30, ill. (color, detail) [English ed., 1962].
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. rev., enl. ed. New York, 1961, pp. 419–20, 424, 430, 580, 603, ill.
Barbara Ehrlich White. "An Analysis of Renoir's Development from 1877 to 1887." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1965, pp. 48, 50–52, 94–95, 98–99, 101, 106, 176, 188, fig. 14.
Félix Fénéon. Au-delà de l'impressionnisme. Paris, 1966, p. 69.
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. 149–52, ill.
Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill. (color).
Introduction by Kenneth Clark inMasterpieces of Fifty Centuries. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 317, no. 380, ill.
François Duret-Robert Preface by René Huyghe inL'Impressionnisme. [Paris], 1971, p. 306 [English ed., 1973].
François Daulte. Auguste Renoir: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 1, Figures. Lausanne, 1971, pp. 42–43, 411, no. 266, ill. (color, overall and detail), notes that it was commissioned by Georges Charpentier in September 1878 and completed by the beginning of December of that year, following over forty sittings [see Ref. Renoir 1878]; provides the children's ages as three and six years old.
Impressionist and Modern Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture. Christie's, London. July 6, 1971, pp. 32–35, under nos. 30–33.
Denys Sutton, ed. Letters of Roger Fry. New York, 1972, vol. 1, pp. 26, 34, 97, 284, fig. 39.
Elda Fezzi. L'opera completa di Renoir. [reprint ed., 1981]. Milan, 1972, p. 103, no. 321, colorpls. XLIV–XLV, fig. 321.
Carl R. Baldwin. The Impressionist Epoch. Exh. brochure, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [New York], 1974, pp. 16–17, ill.
Lydie Huyghe in René Huyghe. La Relève du réel: la peinture française au XIXe siècle: impressionnisme, symbolisme. Paris, 1974, p. 462, fig. 149.
Charles S. Moffett inImpressionism: A Centenary Exhibition. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1974, pp. 190–94, no. 38, ill. (color, overall and detail) [French ed., "Centenaire de l'Impressionnisme," Paris, 1974], notes that the faces and hands of the sitters are more finished than the rest of the painting; sees in it Renoir's break away from Impressionism and reintroduction of "traditional pictorial values in order to satisfy the needs of a commissioned work and, more importantly, the Salon jury".
Alice Bellony-Rewald. The Lost World of the Impressionists. London, 1976, pp. 67, 69, 113, ill. (color), dates it 1877 in the text and 1878 in the caption; notes that Berthe Morisot, [Charles] Ephrussi, and the collector [Charles] Deudon all saw this painting in the Charpentier home before it was sent to the Salon [see Ref. Renoir 1878].
Frank Whitford. Japanese Prints and Western Painters. New York, 1977, p. 168.
Gabriel P. Weisberg. "Madame Henry Lerolle and Daughter Yvonne." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 64 (December 1977), p. 336, fig. 19, suggests that it may have influenced Albert Besnard's "Madame Henry Lerolle and Daughter Yvonne" of about 1879–80 (Cleveland Museum of Art), noting a similar emphasis on informality.
Anthea Callen. Renoir. London, 1978, pp. 14, 17, 67, pl. 48.
Frances Spalding. Roger Fry: Art and Life. Berkeley, 1980, pp. 100–101, pl. 34.
William Gaunt. Renoir. 3rd rev. ed. (1st ed., 1952). Oxford, 1982, pp. 16–17, under no. 31, fig. 27.
Barbara Ehrlich White. Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters. New York, 1984, pp. 84, 87–89, 121, 162–163, 165, 192, 210, 237, ill. (color), notes that there were forty sittings for it between September through mid-October 1878; suggests the influence of Ingres's portrait of Mme Philibert Rivière of about 1805 (Musée du Louvre, Paris); comments that Renoir made the figures more solid and tangible in response to criticism of his painting, but that he retained Impressionist methods of arrangement, color, and spontaneity.
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. Ed. Edward Chaney and Neil Ritchie. London, 1984, p. 234.
Anne Distel inRenoir. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. [London], 1985, pp. 20, 25, 29 n. 77, pp. 197, 212, under no. 40, pp. 214–15, 298–99, 310, no. 44, ill. pp. 84–85 (color, overall and detail), 214 [French ed., pp. 31, 40–41 n. 77, 101, 148, 156–59, 376–77, 394, ill. (color, overall and detail)].
John House inRenoir. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. [London], 1985, pp. 221, 244, under no. 74 [French ed., pp. 177, 238].
Denis Rouart. Renoir. revised ed. (1st ed., 1954). New York, 1985, pp. 46–47, 150, ill. (color).
Eunice Lipton. Looking into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life. Berkeley, 1986, pp. 54, 211 n. 6, fig. 31.
Melissa McQuillan. Impressionist Portraits. London, 1986, pp. 26, 136–37, ill. (overall and detail, color and black and white).
Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Sculpture, Part I. Sotheby's, London. November 28, 1989, p. 24, under no. 9.
Anne Distel. Impressionism: The First Collectors. New York, 1990, pp. 8, 38, 141, 144, 147, 162, colorpl. 126.
Milton Esterow. "Masterpiece Theater." Art News 89 (Summer 1990), pp. 135–36, ill.
Margaret Fitzgerald Farr. "Impressionist Portraiture: A Study in Context and Meaning." PhD diss., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992, pp. 156, 185 n. 49, p. 190 n. 62, pp. 193–96, pl. 26.
John House. Renoir, Master Impressionist. Exh. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. Sydney, 1994, pp. 33–34, fig. 10 (color).
Marie Simon. Fashion in Art: The Second Empire and Impressionism. London, 1995, pp. 142, 147, ill. pp. 144–45 (color).
Albert Kostenevich. Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Exh. cat.New York, 1995, pp. 89, 92.
Götz Adriani. Renoir. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Tübingen. Cologne, 1996, pp. 38–39, 52, 224, ill.
Colin B. Bailey in Colin B. Bailey. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 1997, pp. 4, 6, 8–9, 14–17, 48 n. 158, pp. 158, 160–67, 189, 202, 296–300, 312 n. 64, p. 319 n. 11, no. 32, ill. (color, overall and details) and on back cover, dates it mid-September to mid-October 1878; considers Duret [see Ref. 1937] a more reliable source for the amount Renoir was paid, noting that it was below the market price; notes that Renoir supervised its varnishing and unvarnishing and possibly chose its frame; remarks that there are no known preparatory sketches; identifies three sections of a Japanese screen, possibly of the Rimpa school, in the background, and states that the setting is Mme Charpentier's bedroom.
Linda Nochlin in Colin B. Bailey. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 1997, p. 69.
Anne Distel in Colin B. Bailey. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 1997, p. 78.
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Catharine Lorillard Wolfe: The First Woman Benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 147 (March 1998), p. 54.
John House in Sona Johnston. Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from American Collections. Exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art. New York, 1999, p. 12, fig. 2 (color).
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), pp. 4, 9 n. 13.
Hugues Wilhelm inBerthe Morisot, 1841–1895. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 2002, pp. 294–95, under no. 86, fig. 3 (color).
Anne E. Dawson. Idol of the Moderns: Pierre-Auguste Renoir and American Painting. Exh. cat., San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, 2002, pp. 17, 23–24, 26, 32, 41, 47, 54, 57, ill., comments that Roger Fry's acquisition of the picture for the MMA enhanced Renoir's reputation in America, and may have influenced Durand-Ruel's decision to organize the artist's first solo exhibition in this country the following year.
James H[enry]. Rubin. Impressionist Cats & Dogs: Pets in the Painting of Modern Life. New Haven, 2003, pp. 1, 67, 88, 90–94, figs. 2, 70 (color, overall and detail).
Impressionist & Modern Art, Part One. Sotheby's, New York. November 5, 2003, p. 20, under no. 4, fig. 1 (color).
Barbara Dayer Gallati. Children of the Gilded Era: Portraits by Sargent, Renoir, Cassatt, and their Contemporaries. London, 2004, pp. 76–78, ill. (color).
Akiko Fukai inFashion in Colors. Exh. cat., Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum. New York, 2004, p. 18, ill. p. 16, discusses Mme Charpentier's black dress as "the color of the moment, associated with dignity, mystery, and elegance".
Ann Dumas in Ann Dumas and John Collins. Renoir's Women. Exh. cat., Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio. London, 2005, pp. 40, 114, 116, 119, fig. 25 (color).
Richard Rand inThe Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 253.
Sidsel Maria Søndergaard inWomen in Impressionism: From Mythical Feminine to Modern Woman. Ed. Sidsel Maria Søndergaard. Exh. cat., Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Milan, 2006, p. 58, fig. 63 (color).
John Collins inInspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past. Ed. Ann Dumas. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Denver, 2007, pp. 233–34, 239, 241 n. 64, fig. 108 (color).
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, p. 7, fig. 13 (installation photo).
Lin Arison in Lin Arison and Neil Folberg. Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections. New York, 2007, p. 84, ill. pp. 83, 261 (color).
Rebecca A. Rabinow inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 153, 297–98, no. 142, ill. (color and black and white).
Guy-Patrice Dauberville, and Michel Dauberville, with Camille Fremontier-Murphy. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 1, 1858–1881. Paris, 2007, pp. 281–82, 480, no. 239, ill.
Christine I. Oaklander. "Jonathan Sturges, W. H. Osborn, and William Church Osborn: A Chapter in American Art Patronage." Metropolitan Museum Journal 43 (2008), p. 191.
Albert Kostenevich. Renoir: Compositions with Stairs. St. Petersburg, 2009, pp. 31–32, ill.
Augustin de Butler, ed. Écrits et propos sur l'art. By Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Paris, 2009, pp. 21, 24, 30 n. 6, 59, 273–74, notes that its success at the Salon brought Renoir more patrons but that they left him after 1882 with his new style.
Laurence Madeline inRenoir in the 20th Century. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Ostfildern, 2010, p. 130, fig. 57 (color) [French ed., "Renoir au XXe siècle," Paris, 2009], notes its influence on Picasso's "Portrait of Madame Rosenberg and Her Daughter" of 1918 (Musée National Picasso, Paris).
R[ichard]. S[hone]. "Supplement: Acquisitions (2000–10) of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York." Burlington Magazine 152 (December 2010), p. 839.
John House inRenoir in the Barnes Foundation. New Haven, 2012, p. 7, fig. 10 (color).
Gloria Groom inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, pp. 39, 306 n. 46 [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, pp. 79, 80 n. 45].
Justine De Young inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, pp. 239–40 [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, pp. 261–62].
Sylvie Patry inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, pp. 244–51, 320–22 nn. 1–52, ill. pp. 245–46 (color, overall and detail), fig. 3 (color detail) [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, pp. 99–105, ill. p. 98 (color)], discusses at length both the general fashionability of the portrait and of Charpentier's and the children's dresses more specifically; notes that the Newfoundland dog Porthos was a gift from Clotilde Schultz, one among Charpentier's stable of writers; states that the Charpentier publishing house was at its peak when Renoir painted the portrait; notes that the painting was enlarged before it entered the Museum in 1907 and that the composition evokes portraits of mothers and children by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough; states that the setting is the family's little Japanese living room, citing Renoir 1907; cites a letter from Geneviève Lacambre to the author (May 23, 2012) to identify the Japanese screens as painted screens rather than dismantled panels of a Rimpa screen, the bamboo furniture set as similar to those in an 1876 catalogue from the department store Au Printemps, and a comparable table at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (Trimolet Bequest, 1878); states that Renoir later tired of the work; notes that the price at which it sold to the Museum was unprecedented, citing Fry 1907.
Françoise Tétart-Vittu inImpressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, p. 65 [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, p. 109].
Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity. Ed. Gloria Groom. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Chicago, 2012, p. 292, no. 124, ill. (color) [French ed., "L'Impressionnisme et la Mode," Paris, 2012, p. 301, no. 46].
Pierre Pinchon inBerthe Morisot 1841–1895. Exh. cat., Musée Marmottan Monet. Paris, 2012, p. 152 [English ed., 2012].
Andrea Bayer. "Collecting North Italian Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." A Market for Merchant Princes: Collecting Italian Renaissance Paintings in America. Ed. Inge Reist. University Park, Pa., 2015, p. 84.
Anne Distel inInventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market. Ed. Sylvie Patry. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. London, 2015, p. 133 [French ed., 'Paul Durand-Ruel: le Pari de l'Impressionnisme," Paris, 2014, p. 105].
Augustin de Butler. "Renoir, Matisse and the Colour Black." Burlington Magazine 158 (June 2016), pp. 440, fig. 32 (color), states that the painting could be seen as a defense of the color black.
Renoir made the acquaintance of the Charpentier family in 1875, after Georges Charpentier, the well-known publisher, purchased three paintings by Renoir at auction. He later commissioned him to paint his wife and their children, Georgette, then six years old, and Paul, then three, shown at their home on 11–13 rue de Grenelle with their Newfoundland dog, Porthos.
Between 1876 and 1882, Renoir painted seven additional portraits of the Charpentier family: a bust-length portrait of Madame Charpentier of 1876–77 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris; DD 465), of which there are two other versions (one sold at Sotheby's, New York, November 5, 2003, no. 4, and the other, a pastel, present location unknown); two portraits of Georgette, one of 1876 (Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo; DD 499) and another of 1880 (sold at Sotheby's, London, November 28, 1989, no. 9; DD 486); an 1878 pastel of Paul (sold at Christie's, London, July 6, 1971, no. 33); and an unfinished pastel of 1882, of another daughter, Jane (present location unknown) [see Ref. Bailey 1997].