Les Filles de Catulle Mendès (1888)

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)

Les Filles de Catulle Mendès (Daughters of Catulle Mendès)
Oil on canvas, 161.9 x 129.9 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Hoping to recapture the success he had achieved with Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children at the Salon of 1879, Renoir sought to paint the daughters of his friend Catulle Mendès. In addition to the girls’ manifest charm, he undoubtedly counted on the notoriety of their bohemian parents to gain attention: their father was a Symbolist poet and publisher, and their mother was the virtuoso pianist Augusta Holmès. Renoir completed the commission in a matter of weeks and immediately exhibited the large canvas in May 1888, but the response to his new manner of painting, with its intense hues and schematized faces, was unenthusiastic. (MET)

See also:

• Mendès, Catulle (1841-1909) | Mendès, Claudine (1876-1937) | Mendès, Helyonne (1879-1955) | Mendès, Huguette (1871-1964)