Une serveuse au restaurant Duval (c.1875)

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)

Une serveuse au restaurant Duval (Waitress at Duval’s Restaurant)
Oil on canvas, 100.3 x 71.4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The title Renoir conferred on this painting is untraced. By 1885 it was on the market as La Servante, and for many years afterward the subject was identified, erroneously, as a waitress in the popular Parisian restaurant called Duval’s. Whatever her role, Renoir imparted to his comely model an unaffected grace. As he once said, “I like painting best when it looks eternal without boasting about it: an everyday eternity, revealed on the street corner: a servant-girl pausing a moment as she scours a saucepan, and becoming a Juno on Olympus.” (MET)