About This Artwork

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French, 1841-1919

Madame Léon Clapisson, 1883

Oil on canvas
81.2 x 65.3 cm (32 x 25 ¾ in.)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1174

As part of an effort to shape the future of scholarly publishing, the Getty Foundation in 2009 invited the Art Institute of Chicago and eight other museums to participate in a venture called the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative. The Art Institute is pleased to present the second catalogue produced from this venture: Renoir: Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Entries on the 25 artworks include high-resolution imaging, in-depth curatorial essays and conservation reports.


This canvas is Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s second attempt to fulfill a commission from the stockbroker Léon Clapisson, a new collector of Impressionism, to paint his wife, Valentine. Initially, the artist decided to paint Madame Clapisson outdoors, taking tea in a rose garden, but neither Renoir nor Clapisson was satisfied with the result. In this second portrait, the sitter appears indoors in an evening dress, set against an abstract background that picks up the reds from her chair, blues from her dress, and yellows from her gloves.

— Permanent collection label




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