Auguste Renoir - Nini Lopez 1876

Nini Lopez 1876
Nini Lopez
1876 oil/canvas
Private collection

« previous picture | 1870s Renoir Paintings | next picture »

From Musée d'art moderne André Malraux:
Nini Lopez first appeared in the work of Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) in La Loge (The Theatre Box), painted in 1874. The young woman from Montmartre, cruelly nicknamed Nini-Gueule-de-Raie, or "fish face", is shown alongside the artist's brother. Although the artwork was immediately purchased by the art dealer "le Père Martin", Renoir, like many of his Impressionist friends, was experiencing serious financial difficulty at the time. In the spring of 1875, he moved into a new studio on rue Cortot in Montmartre. The painter liked the almost wild quality of the garden, where Nini posed for him regularly. Known for being serious and punctual, the young woman become the artist's favourite model between 1875 and 1879, appearing in at least fourteen paintings.
The Portrait of Nini Lopez was painted in 1876, the year the artist outshone himself in breathtaking compositions such as The Swing or Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette. But at the time, Renoir was also painting numerous intimate scenes and smaller portraits for commercial purposes. The canvas purchased by collector Olivier Senn from Le Havre is very similar to a smaller work, Portrait of Nini Lopez (Blond Profile), in which the young woman is dressed in the same clothes: black and white bodice, green scarf and black ribbon tying back her hair. The model has the same soft features that give Nini her dreamy charm.