This uncommissioned painting displays the thick, hatched strokes, strong colors, and porcelain-like skin tones typical of Renoir's high-society portraits. The multicolored, warm red-oranges and gold that predominate in the background serve as a foil to the black-clad figure, the wife of a friend. The gold in her bracelets, pin, earrings, and dress links her to the background. Mme Paulin has the dreamy, meditating countenance that the Impressionists favored as a way of softening the posed quality of traditional portraits.
Credit: Gift of Ogden Phipps, New York, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation