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Portrait of a young man wearing a hat and coat, facing right, turning to a three-quarter pose toward the viewer.

The fair skinned man looks over his right shoulder toward the viewer with soft dark eyes, short dark hair with thin beard and moustache. The face is the most defined part of this self portrait of the artist. He wears a grey smock-like coat over a white shirt and dark tie underneath. There are many strokes of subtle color in his face and the grey coat. His bent right elbow and hand may be holding something undefined, flesh colored brush strokes indicate his hands. The background is made of loose brushstrokes of muted greens and blues.

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
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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:


Recorded Ownership History
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.], The Museum of Modern Art (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
  • 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
  • Johann Protais and Eloi Rousseau, Auguste Renoir (Paris, 2018), repr. on p.8; p. 9

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, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Related Works

Verification Level

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