Portrait of Jeanne Samary in full growth by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Portrait of Jeanne Samary in full growth by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Renoir was the first impressionist to have gained immense popularity among the French rich thanks to writing many beautiful portraits of famous people. He skillfully owned light and shade, which made his paintings very realistic. Thanks to this technique, he wrote such famous paintings as “Reading Claude Monet”, “Nude Anna”, as well as a whole series of paintings with bathers.

Among the huge number of works by the artist, it is possible to distinguish part of the canvases in which he portrayed the then famous actress Jeanne Samary. Renoir met her when she was a very young girl. He was amazed at the beauty of Joan, her golden hair and glowing skin captivated him, and he believed that only one of all the artists in the world was able to convey her beauty to the canvas as it really was. Pierre wrote four portraits of Jeanne, which for centuries preserved her beauty and youth, and also became the subject of imitation of young French women.

Each portrait is unique, despite the fact that they depict the same person. This picture, like all impressionist paintings, should be observed a little from a distance, so that all the strokes merge into a single composition and leave that slight blurriness of the image characteristic of the Impressionists. Only in this way the viewer will be able to see exactly the image that the artist tried to convey.

This painting was painted by Pierre Renoir in 1878 and became the third in the series. On it the actress is shown to his full height, so the picture was also the largest of the four portraits. Jeanne Samary is depicted in a long, bright, beautiful dress, which at that time only secular ladies could afford. She is wearing white gloves.

If you carefully examine the picture, it seems that the heroine leans slightly forward, as if moving closer to the viewer. The velvet light skin of Joan, whom Renoir so adored and compared her with sunlight, contrasts with the dark interior surrounding the actress. The dark eyes of the heroine playfully look at all who admire her beauty.

Jeanne Samary died very young, at the age of 33, but thanks to the portraits painted by Renoir, she left a big mark on art.

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