Head of a Woman
Oil on canvas. 38.5x36 cm
France. Circa 1876
Source of Entry: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow. 1935
This study was painted at the height of the Impressionist movement, around 1876, by Renoir, one of the leading members of the group. Portraits form perhaps the most important part of Renoir's work, and women are by far the most important of his subjects, embodying vivid, natural charm.
This sitter has a likeness to a number of figures who appear in the artist's other works of this period, both in her general appearance and in hairstyle. It is possible that this is Anne, one of Renoir's models.
In the study, as in the artist's finished pictures, the image is tinged with lyricism and full of the charm of femininity. The freedom and fluidity of the separate brushstrokes, the soft nuances of colour and the attention paid to effects of light and air are characteristic of Renoir's style during these years.