Woman in a Hat

Femme au chapeau

This small, square format painting is a portrait of a woman. She has a round face, rosy cheeks, and a full mouth, highlighted in red. Her skin has that luminous quality so characteristic of Renoir, achieved through his use of alternate brushstrokes of pink and white to render the texture of the skin. The yellow straw hat is enhanced with pink ribbons and trimmings. The model wears a blue blouse with a rounded neckline. The background is made up of numerous dashes of colour ranging from blue to red, and with green hinting at indeterminate natural forms. Among the innumerable portraits of women that Renoir produced are many of women in hats. There are also other portraits of this type in similar formats. His use of broad brushstrokes, of a transparent glaze allowing parts of the surface of the canvas to show through, and his technique of diluting forms and colours, are typical of the painter’s later style. It is likely that Renoir produced this painting in the very last years of his life.

Provenance: Ambroise Vollard (?); Paul Guillaume (?); Domenica Walter