RENOIR, Pierre-Auguste
(b, 1841, Limoges, d. 1919, Cagnes-sur-Mer)

A Box at the Theater (At the Concert)

Oil on canvas, 99 x 81 cm
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown

Renoir made several paintings of spectators at theaters or concerts - a subject that explores the theme of seeing and being seen. Although the artist may have begun the painting as a portrait of specific individuals, he later reworked it to present two women whose identities and relationship are unknown. The subdued lighting and clearly defined forms suggest that Renoir was beginning to modify his experimental painting techniques by adopting a more traditional approach, as several critics noted when the work was first exhibited in 1882.

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