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Vintage poster print of the famous Reader artwork by Pierre Renoir.
Pierre Auguste Renoir began painting The Reader – also known as Young Woman Reading A Book – in 1875 and finished a year later. This artwork was done a bit after the first official Impressionist exhibition, that took place in 1874. Up until then, the painter would send artworks to the Paris Salon in hopes of being called to an exhibit, as this would help propel his artistic career that was going through difficult times. Ultimately, Renoir decided to join his fellow Impressionists in their art show called Salon des Refusés.
During this period, Renoir was inspired by the Asian culture that came to Europe, mainly Japanese woodcut prints. These prints, done in the technique of Ukiyo-e, were aesthetically different than the art Europe was accustomed to seeing in their prestigious museums. These prints brought scenes in nature with vibrant colors and dark contours, in normal scenes of the everyday life and nature as well. The Japanese art served as a great alternative influence since the Impressionists went against the traditional standards imposed by the Classic Academies.
In as Young Woman Reading A Book, Renoir captured the essence of a private and intimate moment in an Impressionistic fashion. With broad and loose brushstrokes, the artist created a beautiful work of art depicting an ordinary subject, considered banal for conservative artists and critics at the time. The Impressionist also plays with complementary color combinations to create harmony in the scene. The composition was executed as a close-up of the model, guiding the viewer’s eyes diagonally across the canvas.
With visible brush strokes, Renoir painted the background in a series of colors, dark blue, light blue, white, and yellow. The painter also used dark blue to depict the woman’s jacket and the book cover. She wears a scarf decorated with orange strokes of paint, and her white shirt collar can also be seen. He hair and face are illuminated, accentuating her blond hair and rosy cheeks. The pages of the book are depicted with long yellow strokes, and her hands are in the shadow cast by it. Renoir was a master of portraying the human figure, and his attention to natural positions can be seen even in portraits like Young Woman Reading A Book – as he gracefully positions the model’s tilted head and hands holding the book.
Good overall, some marks to frame, torn backing.
22" x 18"