Pierre-Auguste Renoir ( French, 1841 - 1919 )
- c. 1867–1868
Tradition has it that Renoir was in love with Lise Trehot, the woman he portrays in this work. From 1866 through early 1872 he painted Lise again and again, until, in 1872, their relationship came to an abrupt end with her marriage to another man. In its informality Lise Sewing is not a strictly traditional portrait, but its casual intimacy and lack of pose are what make it so engaging. The artist caught the girl in a pensive moment, absorbed in her stitching. Her face is down-turned, her lips are parted in sheer concentration on her task. Renoir lavished attention on the details of her features: her dark brow, her ear adorned with a modish red drop-earring, her ample mass of raven black hair, tied with a red ribbon. His keen observation of detail is especially evident in her nimble fingers, poised at work with cloth, needle, thread, and thimble. The gray and pale blue stripes of Lise's dress, as well as the swatch of royal blue material on which she works, are passages of pure painterly delectation. The background is roughly filled in with patches of blue, gray, and brown.
Dorothy Kosinski, "Lise Sewing", in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 105.
Lise Trehot is depicted in over twenty paintings by Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Lise Sewing was owned by the sitter throughout her life.
- The National Gallery, London
View a painting of Lise depicted as a nymph by Renoir.