The first of the main representatives of the Impressionists, who became a master of secular portraiture and gained popularity among wealthy Parisians. Using a contrasting game of chiaroscuro, which made the images in his paintings almost sculptural, he created such masterpieces as “Swing”, “Naked”, “Lodge”, “Path in the Tall Grass”. A special place in the creative heritage of Renoir is occupied by the portrait of the actress of the Comedy theater Francesz Jeanne Samari. Renoir met her when she was 20 years old with Madame Sharkanye, whose portrait also painted.
The artist was fascinated by the beauty of the actress, her fair skin and red hair. Jeanne's appearance could be perfectly depicted precisely with brushes and paints of the great French artist. In total, 4 portraits of Jeanne Samari were painted, which not only immortalized the beauty of the actress, but also made her a symbol for the flirty and sophisticated Parisians.
All portraits, although they depict the same woman, differ from each other in composition, color and size. You need to look at them from a long distance, as well as many works of the Impressionists, so that the strokes merge together and create the image that the artist wanted to convey for us.
In 1878, Renoir creates the third, most significant and largest portrait of the actress, a full-length portrait. An exquisite woman in a pinkish dress, fashionable at the time, with a neckline and a long train. Her bare hands are gloved to the elbow. The figure of the woman is slightly tilted forward, as if approaching the one looking at her. The delicate, as if luminous skin (about which Renoir spoke of “What kind of skin! Real sunbeam”) contrasts with the rich interior with a palm tree and a massive stand behind the woman. Colors smoothly flow from one tone to another, exquisitely combining the color of the dress with the reddish hair color of the actress. Dark blue eyes playfully and directly look at fans of Renoir's talent.
The fate of Jeanne Samari is tragic, she died at 33, but thanks to the artist’s paintings, which depict her internal and external appearance, the actress Zhanna Samari will forever leave her mark on the history of mankind.
“I look at the portrait of Jeanne Samari, as I would look at the portrait of my deceased sister,” said Renoir.
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