Sleeping Girl

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A young woman dozes in a chair, her striped stockings and plain skirt suggesting her humble background. The undergarment slipping off her shoulder attracts our gaze, while giving the impression that she is unaware of being observed. The model is thought to have been a resident of Montmartre known for her colorful slang and erratic lifestyle. The image’s suggestive nature is underscored by the presence of the equally sleepy cat resting in her lap.


The artist, sold to Durand-Ruel, 6 Jan. 1881; [Durand-Ruel, Paris, sold to De Kuyper, 29 May 1883]; [De Kuyper, Rotterdam, 1883–90, deposited with Durand-Ruel, 3 Nov. 1890, sold to Durand-Ruel, 23 May 1891];¹ [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1891–1926, sold to Clark, 3 May 1926, as Femme au chat]; Robert Sterling Clark (1926–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. Information from Durand-Ruel archives. De Kuyper presumably refers to Johannes R. C. H. de Kuijper (1831–1910), associated with the distillery Johannes de Kuyper in Rotterdam. De Kuijper and his brother Piet founded the Rotterdamsche Kunstclub, an artists’ association and art dealership, in 1883. See Chris Stolwijk, Uit de schilderswereld: Nederlandse kunstschilders in de tweede helft van de negentiende eeuw, 1998, pp. 344–45.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

Sleeping Girl


Oil on canvas

47 3/8 x 36 1/4 in. (120.3 x 92 cm) Frame: 60 13/16 x 49 1/8 in. (154.5 x 124.8 cm)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1926