01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Gabrielle Renard with Footnotes. #132

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (1841-1919)
Gabrielle (Renard) au miroir, c. 1910

Oil on canvas
31 7/8 x 25 ½ in. (81.1 x 64.7 cm.)
Private collection

Between 1907 and 1911, Renoir painted several canvases that depict Gabrielle Renard, the principal model and muse of his late years, loosely clad in a semi-transparent white chemise that falls open to reveal her ample form.  In the present canvas, Gabrielle is seated at a small mirrored dressing table, languorously adjusting a scarf in her hair; in a closely related scene, she holds a jewelry box in her lap and pins a single rose blossom in her hair. More on this painting

Gabrielle Renard (August 1, 1878 – February 26, 1959) was a French woman who became an important member of the family of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, first becoming their nanny, and subsequently a frequent model for the artist. The bond she developed with Renoirs’ second son, the future filmmaker Jean Renoir, lasted throughout their lives. Upon her marriage in 1921, she became Gabrielle Renard-Slade.

At age sixteen, Gabrielle Renard moved to Montmartre to live and work as a nanny in her cousin’s household, where the second of the three Renoir sons was about to be born. Renard developed a strong bond with the infant, Jean Renoir, that would last throughout their lives. 

During the final years of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s life he suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, but continued to paint with her help. When the family moved to a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer near the Mediterranean coast, seeking a better climate for Renoir’s arthritis, Gabrielle moved with them. While he worked in the studio at “Les Collettes,” Gabrielle would place the paint brush between his crippled fingers.

Renard did not marry until 1921, when the Renoir children were grown. Her husband, Conrad Hensler Slade (1871–1955), was an aspiring painter from a wealthy American family. During World War II, Gabrielle and her family moved to the United States. Renoir also moved to the United States during the war. Being a successful film director, he settled in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. When Gabrielle’s husband died in 1955, she moved to Beverly Hills to be near Jean Renoir. More on Gabrielle Renard

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”

He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–69). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre. MorePierre-Auguste Renoir

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