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Art & Design

Young Woman Reading an Illustrated Journal, ca. 1880, Museum Appropriation Fund

gallery location RA516.European7

Young Woman Reading an Illustrated Journal

Pierre-Auguste Renoir French, 1841-1919
Young Woman Reading an Illustrated Journal, ca. 1880
Oil on canvas
46.4 x 57.1 cm (18 1/4 x 22 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund 22.125

Newspapers and illustrated journals were of widespread interest to Parisians throughout the 19th century. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting of a young woman studying a fashion journal was a true scene from modern life, typical of the subjects painted by the Impressionists in the 1870s and 1880s. His model was Aline Charigot, a young dressmaker who appeared in many of his paintings and who later became his wife. Rather than capture the features of her face, Renoir portrays the model from behind, emphasizing her brilliant red hair and inviting the viewer to read over her shoulder.

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