Young Woman in Black

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919)
c. 1875-1877
Oil on canvas 
13-1/8 x 10 in. (33.3 x 25.4 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon 
Accession Number:
© 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”).


Eugène Murer, Paris and Auvers-sur-Oise, by 1887.
George Viau, Paris (sale, Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, 4 March 1907, lot 66, as Jeune Femme, for Ff 4,100, to);
[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, to];
Paul Harth, Paris, sold 15 June 1938 for 300,000 fr. to;
[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, stock no. 26,935, photo no. 8702, sold 31 December 1938 for 400,000 fr. to];
[Reid & Lefevre, London].
[Galerie Étienne Bignou, Paris].
William A. Cargill, Carruth, Scotland (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 11 June 1963, lot 36, as Portrait de jeune femme en noir, to);
[Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., for];
Norton Simon, by bequest to;
Jennifer Jones Simon Art Trust, to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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