Girls at the Piano, 1892 by Pierre Auguste Renoir


Girls at the Piano, 1892


Pierre Auguste Renoir

Ref GM2225
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 18" x 24" (46 x 60 cm)
Price Add to basket
In the early 1890s, friends and admirers of Renoir took exception to the fact that the French State had never made any official purchase from the painter, then almost fifty years old. In 1892 Stéphane Mallarmé, who knew and admired the artist, helped by Roger Marx, a young member of the Beaux Arts administration and open to new trends, took steps to bring Impressionist works into the national museums. Following this, Renoir was invited by the French government to execute a painting for a new museum in Paris, the Musée du Luxembourg, which was to be devoted to the work of living artists. Aware of the intense scrutiny to which his submission would be subjected, Renoir lavished extraordinary care on this project, developing and refining the composition in a series of five canvases. Young women playing the piano was a recurring and favourite subject for Renoir. While the theme of youth and music had often been given allegorical treatment in French and Dutch art of the past, Renoir adopted the subject as an emblematic image of French bourgeois culture. The theme of cultivated innocence and domestic comfort underpinned much of the artist’s work. Recalling a classical theme that was very popular with French 18th century painters, Renoir sought to paint an ideal world, peopled with graceful young girls. But, scorning mere imitation, he also wanted to be a painter of his time, and presents us with an elegant, comfortably furnished, bourgeois interior.