Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (Francisca and Angelina Wartenberg)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir1879

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, United States

One of four permanent circuses in Paris, the Cirque Fernando opened in Montmartre in 1875, attracting an enthusiastic following that included members of the Impressionist circle. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting features Francisca Wartenberg (left) and her sister, Angelina (right), members of an itinerant German acrobatic troupe. Ages seventeen and fourteen, respectively, the girls take their bows after a performance, gathering up the tissue-wrapped oranges tossed to them as tributes by members of the audience.


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