Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Orientalism by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) & His Algerian Quest



Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Odalisque 1870

Although he painted his most famous Odelisque in 1870, Renoir did not travel to Algeria until 1881, searching for the perfect orientalist model. He was disappointed, writing to a friend, that Algerian women were "unapproachable, I don’t understand their jabber and they are very unreliable...It’s unfortunate as there are some pretty ones, but they do not want to pose.” Instead of trying to learn to communicate with the folks in Algeria & portraying the actual women he saw there in 1881 & 1882, Renoir returned to the comfort of home to paint idealized French women wearing exotic garb.



Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Madame Clementine Stora in Algerian Dress

Orientalism is a term used by art, literary, & cultural studies scholars for the depiction of aspects of Middle Eastern & Eastern cultures by writers & artists from Western cultures. Orientalist painting, depicting mostly "the Middle East" was one of the many areas of 19C art.


Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Algerian Woman 1881




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Algerian Girl 1881




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Seated Algerian Woman 1882




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Algerian Woman 1883




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) The Harem




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Dancer




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Odalisque 1895




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) The Concert




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume with a Rose 




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Mademoiselle Fleury In Algerian Costume




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume with Jewelry




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Young Algerian Girl




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume with open blouse


 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Madame Heriot 1882.


 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume at a Mirror 1910


 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Child with an Orange




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume Seated




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Buste de femme en costume oriental




  Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Dancing Girl with Tambourine 1909




  Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume a sa Coiffure.




  Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Algerian Woman with Child




 Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume




  Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919)  Young Algerian Girl.




Pierre Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter, 1841-1919) Gabrielle (1878-1959) in an Oriental Costume

For further information see:

André, Albert. Forward. Renoir’s Atelier. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1989. xxxv-xxxvii.

Bailey, Colin B. “Renoir and Algeria.” The Burlington Magazine. Sept. 2003: 682-684.

Benjamin, Roger. Renoir and Algeria. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Orientalist Aethetics: Art, Colonialism, and French North Africa, 1880-1930. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.

Charbonnier, J.M. “L’Algérie des Peintres : le Sabre & le Pinceau.” Beaux Arts Magazine. Nov. 2003: 68-70.

Guégan, Stéphane. “Images coloniales?” De Delacroix a Renoir: L’Algerie des peintres. Paris: Institut du mondearabe, 2003. 16-19.

House, John. “Renoir’s Worlds.” Renoir. Rugby, Great Britain: Jolly & Barber Limited, 1985. 11-18.

Prochaska, David. “The Other Algeria: Beyond Renoir’s Algiers.” Renoir and Algeria. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. 120-141.

Rivière, Georges. Renoir et Ses Amis. Paris: H. Floury, 1921.

Said, Edward W. Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. London: Penguin Books, 1995.

Thornton, Lynne. The Orientalists: Painter-Travellers. Paris: ACR PocheCouleur, 1994.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post, Barbara. And for ignoring John Adams dictum. Abigail would applaud you too. I have been enjoying Jean-Etienne's portraits of 18th century westerners in Oriental dress (including himself who became known as The Turk for his penchant) & posted some of them on my fb page. I am going to repost this blog for my "friends" to see & thank you again for your research & compilations. J. Cheney, Asheville, NC.

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