Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

In the first flush of major success as an artist, Renoir depicts himself in front of an easel. By 1876, he had participated in the first and second impressionist exhibitions and was working on the large, ambitious painting that would become one of his greatest masterpieces, Dance at the Moulin de la Galette. Covering most of this canvas with sketchy, large brushstrokes, Renoir renders parts of the composition perfunctorily, leaving the position of his right arm unresolved and his palette and brushes barely discernible. His face, however, is portrayed with amiable intimacy and subtlety. The first owner of this painting was Ambroise Vollard, a renowned Parisian dealer and close friend of the artist. Wertheim purchased it in 1946, just a month after acquiring Renoir’s Seated Bather, which hangs in this gallery.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French (Limoges 1841 - 1919 Cagnes)
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
73.3 x 57.3 cm (28 7/8 x 22 9/16 in.)
framed: 98.4 x 82.3 x 7.2 cm (38 3/4 x 32 3/8 x 2 13/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: u.r.: Renoir
  • stamp: On back of canvas and again on stretcher, stenciled in black ink: DOUANE / PARIS / CENTRALE
  • inscription: On center of stretcher, handwritten in graphite: 1159
  • inscription: On center of stretcher, handwritten in black or blue crayon: PH1147
  • inscription: On center of stretcher, handwritten in blue chalk: 1/CA2764
  • inscription: On stretcher, handwritten in red chalk: M 9-a
  • seal:
Ambroise Vollard, Paris. Paul Guillaume, Paris, 1929. Brandon Davis, London. Josef Stransky, New York, 1931. William H. Taylor, Philadelphia, 1937. [Knoedler & Co., New York], sold; to Maurice Wertheim, 1947, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, Pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Paris, France, 1918), vol. I, no. 279, plate 70

Ambroise Vollard, Auguste Renoir (Paris, France, 1920), repr. opposite p. 32

[Reproduction only], Creative Art, (March 1929)., repr. p. 212

Ralph Flint, "The Private Collection of Josef Stransky", Art News (May 16, 1931), vol. XXIX, pp. 87-88, repr. p. 86

Renoir and His Tradition, exh. cat., Museum of French Art (New York, NY, 1931), no. 11

[Unidentified article], Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin (Philadelphia, PA, December 1933), p. 19

Manet and Renoir, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 1933), p. 19, no. 158

Independent Painters of Nineteenth Century Paris, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1935), no. 40, repr. p. 71

Modern French Paintings from Ingres to Matisse, exh. cat., Wildenstein Galleries (London, England, 1936), no. 10

H. M. McBride, "Renoirs in America", Art News (May 1, 1937), vol. XXXV, p. 60, repr. p. 71

Great Portraits from Impressionism to Modernism, exh. cat., Wildenstein Galleries (New York, NY, 1938), no. 34

Robert J. Goldwater, "Artists Painted by Themselves", Art News (March 30, 1940), vol. XXXVIII, no. 34, repr. on cover

Reginald H. Wilenski, Modern French Painters (New York, NY, 1940), p. 339

Schaeffer Galleries, Self Portraits from Baroque to Impressionism, exh. cat., Schaeffer Galleries (New York, NY, 1940), repr. on cover

[Unidentified article], Magazine of Art (December 1941), repr. as frontispiece

Centennial Loan Exhibition, 1841-1941, Renoir, for the benefit of the Free French Relief Committee, exh. cat., W. Bradford Press (New York, NY, 1941), no. 21

Fashion in Head Dress, exh. cat., Wildenstein Galleries (New York, NY, 1943), no. 89

Rosamund Frost, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Hyperion Press (New York, NY, 1944), p. 16

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism [1st ed.], Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, NY, 1946), repr. p. 289 with detail in color p. 290

La Peinture Française Depuis 1870: Collection Maurice Wertheim, exh. cat., Tom Taylor (Québec, Canada, 1949), no. 4, pp. 11-13

John Coolidge, "The Wertheim Collection", Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, July 7, 1951)

"19th and 20th Century Art", Think (September 1952), pp. 18-19, 32. repr.

Howard Devree, "By French Masters: The Metropolitan Shows Wertheim Collection", The New York Times (New York, NY, July 6 1952), p. 6, p. 6

Self Portraits, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1953), repr.

The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), p. 46, repr. p. 47

Anthony Bosman, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Blandford Press (London, England, 1961), repr.

Jean Renoir, Renoir, My Father, Readers Digest Family Treasury of Great Biographies (Pleasantville, NY, 1962), repr. v. X, p. 76, plate 1

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 44

F. Daulte, "Renoir, son oeuvre regardé sous l'angle d'un album de famille", Connaissance des Arts (November 1964), no. 154, pl. 2, p. 75

Kenneth Stuart, Reader's Digest Family Treasury of Great Painters and Great Paintings, Reader's Digest Association (Pleasantville, NY, 1965), repr. in color p. 154

Colin Hayes, Renoir, Paul Hamlyn (London, England, 1966), repr.

Lawrence Hanson, Renoir, the Man, the Painter, and his World, Dodd, Mead and Co. (New York, NY, 1968), repr. on jacket

Hans L. C. Jaffe, The World of the Impressionists, Hammond, Inc. (Maplewood, NJ, 1969), repr. p. 57

François Daulte, Auguste Renoir: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Editions Durand-Ruel (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1971), vol. 1, no. 191

Maria Blunden and Godfrey Blunden, Impressionists and Impressionism, Skira (Geneva, Switzerland, 1971), repr. p. 44

François Daulte, Gli Impressionisti: Auguste Renoir, Fratelli Fabbri Editori (Milan, Italy, 1972), repr. in color on frontispiece

Elda Fezzi, L'Opera Completa di Renoir nel periodo impressionista, 1869-1883, Rizzoli Editore (Milan, Italy, 1972), no. 233

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), no. 29

Alan S. Cohen, "Rheumatology 1979: Art, Achievements, and Problems", Arthritis and Rheumatism (October 1979), vol. 22, no. 10, repr. in color p. 1044, fig. 4

Diane Kelder, The Great Book of French Impressionism, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), repr. in b/w p. 226

Barbara Ehrlich White, Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1984), pp. 57, 219, repr. p. 62

Vivien Raynor, "Art: Impressionist Show at the I.B.M. Gallery" [review], The New York Times (New York, NY, April 26, 1985), p. C24

Nicholas Wadley, ed., Renoir: A Retrospective, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. (New York, NY, 1987), repr. in b/w p. 83

John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 7, pp. 54-56, repr. in color p. 55

David Bomford, Art in the Making: Impressionism, National Gallery Publications/Yale University Press (London and New Haven, 1990), repr. in b/w fig. 98, p. 206

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 127; repr. as no. 381

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Renoir by Renoir, ed. Rachel Barnes (Tokyo, Japan, 1990), repr. in color p. 25

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 16, p. 63

Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side By Side: Their Friendships, Rivalries, and Artistic Exchange, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (New York, NY, 1996), p. 18

Harvard University Art Museums, Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997

Colin B. Bailey and John B. Collins, Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age, exh. cat., Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1997), no. 25; p. xiv, detail repr. in color pp. 145-8

John House, Review of "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age", The Burlington Magazine (October 1997), vol. CXXXIX, no. 1135, pp. 714-16, fig. 63

Gilles Néret, Renoir: Painter of Happiness, Taschen (Köln, Germany, 2001), repr. in color, p. 191

Dr. Ina Conzen, Edouard Manet und die Impressionisten, exh. cat., Hatje Cantz Verlag (Ostfildern-Ruit, 2002), fig. 208

Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir 1858-1881, Editions Bernheim-Jeune (Paris, 2007), pp. 510-511, ill. p. 510 as no. 517

Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6

Exhibition History

Manet and Renoir, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 12/01/1933 - 12/31/1933

Independent Painters of 19th Century Paris, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 03/15/1935 - 04/28/1935

Modern French Paintings from Ingres to Matisse, Wildenstein Gallery, London, London, 07/01/1936 - 07/31/1936

Great Portraits from Impressionism to Modernism, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 03/01/1938 - 03/29/1938

Self Portraits from Baroque to Impressionism, Schaeffer Galleries, New York, 04/02/1940 - 04/30/1940

Centennial Loan Exhibition, 1841-1941, Renoir, for the benefit of the Free Frenc, Duveen Galleries, New York, 11/08/1941 - 12/06/1941

Fashion in Headdress, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 04/27/1943 - 05/27/1943

French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953

La Peinture Française depuis 1870, Musée de la Province de Quebec, 07/12/1949 - 08/07/1949

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952

French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 06/15/1957 - 09/15/1957

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 06/01/1971 - 09/30/1971

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972

Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990

Renoir's Portrait: Impressions of an Age, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 06/27/1997 - 09/14/1997

Re-View: S427 Impressionist & Postimpressionist Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/02/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

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Related Works

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