Renoir painted this image of a Japanese spaniel for his friend Henri Cernuschi, a banker and collector of Asian art. The breed, a favorite of the Japanese imperial family, was considered fashionably exotic when Cernuschi brought the dog to France in 1873. The pet’s black-and-white fur stands out against the colored brushstrokes of the background, which partly obscure an inscription of its name, Tama, faintly visible in the painting’s top left corner.
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||15 1/16 x 18 3/16 in. (38.3 x 46.2 cm) Frame: 21 x 24 3/16 in. (53.3 x 61.4 cm)|
|Acquisition||Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1930|
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Tama, the Japanese Dog, c. 1876, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.597.
Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.
Possibly Henri Cernuschi, Paris; Paul Roux, Paris; [Knoedler, Paris, sold to Clark, 1 May 1930]; Robert Sterling Clark (1930–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.