About the Period
During the late 1860s and 1870s the impressionists developed a style of painting that departed radically from existing traditions of European art. Rejecting the notion that high art should represent elevated subjects from mythology, history, or religious sources, these avant-garde artists turned their attention to the people, sites, and scenes of their own age. The impressionists wished to capture momentary effects, such as the flux and movement of modern life or the fleeting properties of light on forms in nature, and they devised new techniques of painting to achieve this aim. Their broken brushwork, irregular surfaces, heightened color, and sense of spontaneity gave physical expression to their perceptions of a particular time and place.
In their depictions of the natural world the impressionists focused on ephemeral qualities such as the nuances of sunlight and shadow. They sought to represent these passing effects as truthfully as possible and, in doing so, to capture the immediacy of experiencing nature at first hand. To this end they adopted the practice of painting outdoors, which enabled them to work from close, direct observation and record their perceptions without delay.
This print of Auguste Renoir's A Girl with a Watering Can (1876) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
In 1876, Renoir began to paint anecdotal depictions of women and children, subjects in which he excelled. A Girl with a Watering Can, typical of these works, displays a mature impressionist style attuned to the specific requirements of figure painting. Renoir's colors reflect the freshness and radiance of the impressionist palette, while his handling is more controlled and regular than in his landscapes, with even brushstrokes applied in delicate touches, especially in the girl’s face. Brilliant prismatic hues envelop the child in an atmosphere of warm light and charmingly convey her innocent appeal.
- 9.63 x 7.19 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks