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Young Woman in Black

Young Woman in Black, c. 1875-1877

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas
13-1/8 x 10 in. (33.3 x 25.4 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Though the identity of this woman remains unknown, she embodies Renoir’s ideal parisienne—young, pretty, and smartly dressed. In the mid, 1870s, working toward his celebrated multi-figure composition Ball at the Moulin de la Galette (today in the Musée d’Orsay), Renoir produced dozens of small studies like this one. He often gave them away to his friends, perhaps including Eugène Murer, the painting’s first owner, who described it as, as “modiste à la marguerite, adorable petite tête” (“dressmaker with a daisy, adorable little head”).

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