Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Madame Édouard Bernier (Marie-Octavie-Stéphanie Laurens, 1838–1920)

Artist:
Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer)
Date:
1871
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
30 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. (78.1 x 62.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, and of her sister-in-law, Adele Lewisohn Lehman, 1951
Accession Number:
51.200
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 824
Marie-Octavie Bernier was the wife of the commander of Renoir's regiment during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). In the spring of 1871, Renoir stayed with the couple, who were living with her father in the town of Tarbes in southwestern France. Enjoying their hospitality and a level of comfort that is reflected in this portrait, Renoir fondly recalled that he spent "two months in a château," where he was "treated like a prince," rode horses every day, and taught his hosts' daughter to paint.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): A. Renoir .71.
the sitter (from 1871); J. Bernier (until 1919; sold on July 26 as "un portrait de femme" for Fr 10,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel and Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1919; sold on July 29 to Bernheim-Jeune]; [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris and Lausanne, 1919–20; stock no. 21669; sold to Stransky]; Joseph Stransky, New York (1920–25; probably sold to Lewisohn); Adolph Lewisohn, New York (1925–38); his son, Samuel A. Lewisohn, New York (1938–51); his wife, Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, New York (in 1951; life interest to her sister-in-law, Adele Lewisohn Lehman, 1951–d. 1965)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings," May 3–September 15, 1921, no. 101 (as "Lady in Black," lent by Josef Stransky).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of Today in Masterpieces of Painting before 1900," July 10–October 2, 1932, no catalogue (lent by Samuel Lewisohn).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renoir: A Special Exhibition of His Paintings," May 18–September 12, 1937, no. 1 (as "Portrait of Mme Darras," lent by The Adolph Lewisohn Collection).

New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Great Portraits from Impressionism to Modernism," March 1–29, 1938, no. 36 (lent by the Adolph Lewisohn Collection, New York City).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lewisohn Collection," November 2–December 2, 1951, no. 67 (lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman [Adele Lewisohn Lehman]).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionist and Modern Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 11–end of summer, 1957, no catalogue (lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman [Adele Lewisohn Lehman]).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 1–September 1, 1958, no. 117.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 7–September 7, 1959, no. 92.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 6–September 4, 1960, no. 102.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 1–August 20, 1961, no. 80.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 3–September 6, 1962, no. 76.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 12–September 2, 1963, no. 64 (lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman [Adele Lewisohn Lehman]).

New York. Wildenstein. "Renoir: In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Renoir's Death," March 27–May 3, 1969, no. 6 (as "Portrait of Madame Darras").

Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age," June 27–September 14, 1997, no. 9 (as "Madame Marie Octavie Bernier (formerly called Madame Darras)".

Art Institute of Chicago. "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age," October 17, 1997–January 4, 1998, no. 9.

Fort Worth, Tex. Kimbell Art Museum. "Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age," February 8–April 26, 1998, no. 9.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 98.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

Kunstmuseum Basel. "Renoir. Zwischen Bohème und Bourgeoisie: Die frühen Jahre," April 1–August 12, 2012, no. 20.

Gustave Geffroy. "Peintre de la femme." L'art et les artistes 1 (January 1920), p. 162, ill.

Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1921, p. 23, no. 101, ill.

Stephan Bourgeois. The Adolph Lewisohn Collection of Modern French Paintings and Sculptures. New York, 1928, pp. 128–29, ill., as "Portrait of Madame Darras"; mentions what was believed to be the companion piece to it, a portrait of Captain Darras in Dresden.

Edith von Térey. "Die Sammlung Adolph Lewisohn, New York." Kunst und Künstler 27 (August 1929), p. 418, ill., calls it a pendant to the portrait of Captain Darras in Dresden.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Renoir. Leipzig, 1929, pp. 42, 52, no.1, ill.

Stephan Bourgeois and Waldemar George. "The French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Centuries in the Adolph and Samuel Lewisohn Collection." Formes nos. 28–29 (1932), pp. 301, 305, ill.

Sam A. Lewisohn. Painters and Personality: A Collector's View of Modern Art. [New York], 1937, pl. 128, calls it "Madame Darras".

R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], pp. 61, 339, believes it was painted in Renoir's Parisian studio at the rue Notre Dame des Champs.

Charles Terrasse. Cinquante portraits de Renoir. Paris, 1941, unpaginated, pl. 4.

Bruno F. Schneider. Renoir. Berlin, [1957], p. 22.

François Fosca. Renoir: His Life and Work. first American ed. 1962. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1961, pp. 24, 32, ill.

Henri Perruchot. La Vie de Renoir. [Paris], 1964, pp. 78–79.

Claus Virch. The Adele and Arthur Lehman Collection. New York, 1965, pp. 67–69, ill.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 145–46, ill.

Margaretta M. Salinger. "Windows Open to Nature." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (Summer 1968), unpaginated, ill., compares it to Renoir's earlier portraits, which were inspired by Courbet and Delacroix.

Renoir: In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Renoir's Death. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 1969, unpaginated, no. 6, ill.

François Fosca. Renoir. French ed. 1923. New York, [1970?], pp. 31–32, 35.

François Daulte. Auguste Renoir: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 1, Figures. Lausanne, 1971, unpaginated, no. 69, ill.

Elda Fezzi. L'opera completa di Renoir. [reprint ed., 1981]. Milan, 1972, p. 92, no. 64, ill.

Colin B. Bailey in Colin B. Bailey. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven, 1997, pp. 110–12, 274–75, no. 9, ill. (color), calls it "Madame Marie Octavie Bernier (formerly called Madame Darras)," noting that the surname Darras was not associated with either of the pendant paintings of husband and wife until the early 1920s; remarks that these are the only paintings associated with Renoir's military service of the early 1870s; cites archival evidence confirming that Captain Paul-Édouard-Alfred Darras (1834–1903) and his wife Henriette Oudiette (1837–1910) are not the sitters for these portraits; instead, identifies the sitters as the non-commissioned officer Captain Édouard Bernier (1822–1880) and his wife, the former Marie-Octavie-Stéphanie Laurens (1838–1920), whom he married in 1857; observes that the name of the first known owner of the pictures is Bernier; states that the pendant portraits were painted in March or April 1871 during Renoir's stay with the Bernier family in Tarbes.

Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), p. 12, fig. 9 (installation photograph).

Susan Alyson Stein in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 136, 251, no. 98, ill. (color and black and white).

Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 152, 296–97, no. 141, ill. (color and black and white).

Guy-Patrice Dauberville, and Michel Dauberville, with Camille Fremontier-Murphy. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 1, 1858–1881. Paris, 2007, pp. 433–34, no. 412, ill.

Augustin de Butler, ed. Écrits et propos sur l'art. By Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Paris, 2009, p. 273 n. 9.



This portrait was once believed to be of Madame Darras, wife of Captain Darras (whose portrait by Renoir is in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden). During that time it was compared to two other portraits of Madame Darras by Renoir: an equestrian portrait of 1873 (Kunsthalle, Hamburg) and a bust-length portrait, formerly in the collection of the late Baron Napoleon Gourgaud in Paris.
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