The sitter, Nina Lopez, was one of Renoir’s favourite professional models, so this is not a commissioned portrait. Renoir painted many half-length figures and they often subsequently acquired evocative titles from the art trade. This work became known as 'La Pensée' or 'Thought'. It was painted at the time of the second and third Impressionist exhibitions in 1876 and 1877 to which Renoir was a major contributor. The soft oranges, reds, greens and blues are typical of the Impressionist palette at that date. The colour contrasts are not as daring as in some works, however, perhaps making it more sellable.
Where to see this painting?
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, B15 2TS
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.