Bather Arranging Her Hair

Renoir painted this female nude at a pivotal moment in his career. In the 1870s, the artist experimented with Impressionist techniques, dissolving figures and forms in the atmospheric effects of light and shadow. By the 1880s, the figures in his paintings had become more solid and better defined. This shift in style is visible in the smooth texture of the woman’s pearly skin and the crisp outline of the curves of her body set against a sketchy, vibrant background.


[Durand-Ruel, Paris, on deposit from the artist, Apr. 1885, bought from the artist, 3 Feb. 1892, sold to Clark, 4 Oct. 1937, as Baigneuse (La Brune)];¹ Robert Sterling Clark (1937–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. François Daulte, Auguste Renoir, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1971, gives the date of sale to Clark as 26 April 1949; the invoice in the Clark’s curatorial file, however, shows that Clark bought the painting on 4 Oct. 1937, paid in installments, and completed payment on 22 Nov. 1938.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

Bather Arranging Her Hair


Oil on canvas

36 3/16 x 28 3/4 in. (91.9 x 73 cm) Frame: 46 x 38 1/2 in. (116.8 x 97.8 cm)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1937