La Parisienne, 1874 - by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
La Parisienne is an oil painting by the French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, completed in 1874 and now displayed at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff. The work, which was one of seven presented by Renoir at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, is often referred to as The Blue Lady and is one of the centre-pieces of the National Museum's art collection.
La Parisienne shows a young woman in a long layered dress of a striking deep blue, her face turned to the viewer as she puts on her gloves. Originally the painting had as its background a doorway in the upper left and a curtain at the upper right, but these were subsequently painted out by Renoir before its first exhibit. This leaves the central figure almost floating in a neutral space, uncluttered by detail.
The non-descript background of blue, mauve and yellow-grey adds significantly to the final appearance of the work. The paint on the background is far thinner and more loosely brushed, than the more detailed and layered central figure. The work of the hair against the hat, the earrings and above the earrings as well as the upper eyelashes appear to have been added after the painting had received its varnish layer.