Madame Édouard Bernier (Marie-Octavie-Stéphanie Laurens, 1838–1920) , 1871
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas, 30 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. (78.1 x 62.2 cm)
Signed and dated (lower right): A. Renoir, 71
Gift of Margaret Seligman Lewisohn, in memory of her husband, Sam A. Lewisohn, and of her sister-in-law, Adele Lewisohn Lehman, 1951
(From the info card):|
"Long thought to represent Madame Alfred Darras, the sitter recently has been identified as Marie-Octavie Bernier, the wife of the commander of Renoir's regiment during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). In the spring of 1871, Renoir stayed with the couple, who were then living with her father in the town of Tarbes in southwestern France. Enjoying their hospitality and a level of comfort that is reflected in this portrait of Madame Bernier, Renoir fondly recalled that he spent "two months in a château," where he was "treated like a prince," rode horses every day, and taught his hosts' daughter to paint."