Young Woman (La Servante)

Auguste Renoir French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 824

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."

Young Woman (La Servante), Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer), Oil on canvas

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