Pensive (La Songeuse) (Translation)
Day Dreaming (Primary Title)

Pierre Auguste Renoir, French, 1841 - 1919 (Artist)

Works On Paper
oil on paper on canvas
Unframed: 18 1/8 × 15 in. (46.04 × 38.1 cm)
Framed: 26 1/4 × 23 3/8 in. (66.68 × 59.37 cm)
Not on view
Renoir challenges the expectations of portraiture by showing his subject with her back to the viewer. This perspective functions as a formal device whereby he juxtaposes the rich range of blacks in the lower half of the painting with an explosion of color above. Renoir created this work around the time of the first Impressionist exhibition, and it is a classic example of his elegant subject matter and free brushwork during this time.
Signed upper right: "Renoir"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

“French Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon,” VMFA, April 4, 1967-June 5, 1968

“Renoir,” Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, May 30-Oct. 15, 1958.

“Renoir,” Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, 1933.

“Oeuvres d’Art des XVIII, XIX Siècle’s,” Chambre Syndicale de la Curiosité et des Beaux Arts, Paris, April 25-May 15, 1923, No. 216.

“Grands Maitres du XIX Siècle,” Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, May 3-June 3, 1922, No. 73.
Anne Distel, Renoir (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2009) p. 127, color pl. no. 109, p. 126.

Paul Mellon in His Own Words dvd (Washington DC: National Gallery, 2007), Title 17, chpt. 9.

Roy Proctor, “Want More? Step Over to the Mellon Galleries,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sunday, September 17, 2000, p. H-8, color ill.

“Historic Neighborhoods,” Metropolitan Richmond, Richmond Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Fall 1993, p. 36, illus. (color).

Pinkney L. Near, French Paintings, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1985, Cat. No. 36, pp. 76-77, color illus.

Bruno F. Schneider, Renoir, rev. ed., New York: Crown Publishers, 1984, p. 12 (illus.).

19th and 20th Century French Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon: A Loan Exhibition, with Selections from the Virginia Museum Collection, exh. pamphlet, Richmond: VMFA, 1979, no. 64, illus.

L’opera complete di Renoir nel period impressionista 1869-1883, Milan: Rizzoli Editore, 1972, No. 173 (illus.).

Francois Daulte, Auguste Renoir, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. I, Lausanne: Editions Durand-Ruel, 1971, No. 149 (illus.).

Renoir, exh. cat., Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1958, No. 6 (illus.).

Lionello Venturi, Les Archives de Impressionnisme, Vol. I, Paris, New York: Durand-Ruel Editeurs, 1939, pp. 152-155.

Exposition Renoir: 1841-1919, exh. cat., Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, 1933, No. 23, illus. Pl. XIV.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.