Marguerite–Thérèse (Margot) Bérard (1874–1956), 1879
August Renoir (French, 1841–1919)
Oil on canvas; 16 1/8 x 12 3/4 in. (41 x 32.4 cm)
Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960 (61.101.15)
Renoir depicted the five-year-old daughter of his devoted patron Paul Bérard, a French diplomat and banker whom he met in the winter of 1878. The artist often spent his summers at the Bérards' country home in Wargemont, near Dieppe, on the Normandy coast, where he painted decorative pictures for the house and a veritable family album of portraits, which range from formal commissions to more intimate works that reflect a genuine fondness for the four Bérard children. According to Margot's nephew, Renoir painted this spirited portrait of her to "cheer her up" after a disagreeable lesson with her German tutor that had brought her to tears.