(b, 1841, Limoges, d. 1919, Cagnes-sur-Mer)
Oil on canvas, 47 x 38 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Renoir is the only Impressionist painter to have made use of his talent primarily in the fields of figure and portrait painting. In his portraits of women he showed a marked preference for small-scale pictures, frequently characterized by their intimacy. The subject of the present painting is treated as a manifestation of light.The brightness of the light shining through the window behind the woman's head is reflected by the book so that it permeates her countenance, pervading it with vivid and delicate shades.