Portrait of a Girl - by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A striking thing about this picture is the adaptability and poetic assurance of Renoir's vision, which unerringly keys itself to the sentiment of the subject, the qualities of the persons or places he is painting.

Renoir protested the title, La Pensee, which became associated with this picture: "WhyTfas such a title been given to my canvas? I wanted to picture a lovely, charming young woman without giving a title which would give rise to the belief that I wished to depict a state of mind of my model.... That girl never thought, she lived like a bird, and nothing more."

However this may have been, Renoir was caught by the pensiveness of the model on the chaise; wistful as she is, there is also a coquettishness, an element of sly appraisal, in her glance.

The girl inspired in Renoir the search for effects of reverie and mystery. The tones and contours are exceptionally soft and filmy; the loose, flowing hair and the diaphanous clothes help to make of her body a softened shell that is completely at one with her enveloping surroundings. Her colors - the warm hair, the lips, the flesh tones and their shadows - reappear in the meadowlike, freely spotted treatment of the chaise.