Renoir Subjects: Other Child Subjects

Figure 1.--This wonderful Renoir painting is "Boy with a whip" painted in 1885. It is often called "Girl with a whip". The boy was Etienne Gougon. The whip was a device often used by photographic studios to identify boys not yet breeched. This may be why the whip was used here. Etienne was the brother of the 'Girl with the Hoop'. Note the similarity of the two dresses, mother apparently dessed the two alike for the tweo portraits. Click the image to see the "Girl with a hoop" painting.

Renoir painted many works using his boys as the subject. They were often painted with long flowing hair along with dresses and smocks so only art historians know their identity. Renoir's impresionist style make it difficult, but not entireky imposible to identify to identify them from facial features. He also painted other children. He used other children as subjects as well as did commissions. He painted Jean and Genevieve Caillebotte, the son and daughter of Martial Caillebotte in 1893. (Some sources say 1995). We also notice the Charpentier children. Renoir also used his nephew Eugène in some of his paintings. We know one girl he painted as a commision, 9-year-old named Marie Goujon in 1885--the "Girl with a hoop". It is a particularly beautiful Renoir image. When he painted with his friend Monet, he sometimes inclued Mobet's son Jean in the image, but only as a minor figure. We have been unable to identify some of the children he painted. Here hopefully our readers will be able to help us here. These child sunjects are especially interesting. Renoir painted many works with children, but many were his own children. And he seems to have dressed them up to create sunjects he invisioned. Thus the clothing involved may not be a good representation of what French children wore. We do not think, foe example, that many Frenchj children wore bright red smocks. The children here from other famolirs are probably dressed in outfits that are more representative of French children's fashions.


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Created: 10:35 PM 5/21/2010
Last updated: 10:35 PM 5/21/2010