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Pierre-Auguste Renoir | Young Girls Looking at an Album, 1892

Children and adolescents were a constant source of inspiration for Renoir, and they figured in his work throughout his career.
The painter experimented with using light touches and freely applied gestures to capture the sincerity as well as the delicate traits and characteristic flush of his young subjects.
In this double portrait, Renoir explored subtle contrasts between colors and principles of figuration.

One girl has blonde hair, the other is a brunette; one leans back in her chair while the other stoops forward to examine the album open in the lap of her companion.
The artist’s color scheme adds to the dynamic relationships between these compositional elements, particularly through the inverse proportions of pinks and whites for each girl’s wardrobe.
Renoir’s use of subjects and models from his everyday environment demonstrates the influence of 18th-century genre scenes, yet his distinctive brushwork made paintings such as this one unmistakably modern in the eyes of his contemporaries. | © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond