Madame Georges Charpentier (Marguérite-Louise Lemonnier, 1848–1904) and Her Children

Madame Georges Charpentier (Marguérite-Louise Lemonnier, 1848–1904) and Her Children, Georgette-Berthe (1872–1945) and Paul-Émile-Charles (1875–1895), 1878
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841-1919
60 1/2 x 74 7/8 in. (153.7 x 190.2 cm)
Signed and dated (lower right): Renoir. 78
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1907, Metropolitan Museum #07.122

Renoir said of this piece:
"Madame Charpentier reminds me of the sweethearts of my youth, the models of Fragonard. The two daughters had lovely dimples. I was congratulated. I forgot the attacks of the newspapers. I had models who were willing to sit for free and who were full of good will." (From _Pierre-August Renoir 1841-1919: A Dream of Harmony_ by Peter H. Feist, page 43)

(From the info card):
"Renoir had participated in the first three Impressionist exhibitions, but in 1879, he declined the fourth and returned to the more traditional annual Salon. "Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children" was one of the paintings he exhibited there, to great acclaim. It had been commissioned by the publisher Georges Charpentier, whose stable of authors included Gustave Flaubert, the Goncourt brothers, and Émile Zola.

Wearing an elegant Worth gown, Marguérite Charpentier sits beside her three-year-old son, Paul. Following the fashion of the time, his hair has not yet been cut and his clothes match those of his sister, Georgette, who perches on the family dog. Pleased with the painting, Madame Charpentier used her influence to ensure that it was hung in a choice spot at the Salon and introduced Renoir to her friends, several of whom commissioned work from him."

The Feist book gives a chronology of Renoir. Nine years before his death, in 1907:
"Madame Charpentier and her Children is bought for 84000 Franc by the Metropolitan Museum, New York, at an auction. Renoir buys "Les Colettes", an estate in Cagnes, and has a house built on it." (page 95)