A Box at the Theater (At the Concert) Slider Image 1
A Box at the Theater (At the Concert) Slider Image 2

Telegram from William Holston re acquistion of Renoir's "A Box at the Theater (At the Concert)."

A Box at the Theater (At the Concert) Slider Image 3

x - ray

A Box at the Theater (At the Concert) Slider Image 4

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

A Box at the Theater (At the Concert)


Renoir made several paintings of spectators at theaters or concerts—a subject that explores the theme of seeing and being seen. Although the artist may have begun the painting as a portrait of specific individuals, he later reworked it to present two women whose identities and relationship are unknown. The subdued lighting and clearly defined forms suggest that Renoir was beginning to modify his experimental painting techniques by adopting a more traditional approach, as several critics noted when the work was first exhibited in 1882.

Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 39 1/8 x 31 3/4 in. (99.4 x 80.7 cm) Frame: 49 1/2 × 41 5/8 × 3 1/4 in. (125.7 × 105.7 × 8.3 cm)
Object Number 1955.594
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark before 1955
Status On View

Image Caption

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, A Box at the Theater (At the Concert), 1880, oil on canvas. Clark Art Institute, 1955.594

Select Bibliography

Néret, Gilles. Renoir: Painter of Happiness 18411919. Cologne: Taschen GmbH, 2001. High Museum of Art, Atlanta. A Passion for Renoir: Five Great Paintings from the Clark Art Institute. Jan. 10-Mar. 3, 2002. Various. l'Impressionismo e l'eta di Van Gogh. Linea d-ombra Libri. 2002. Conforti, Michael, et al. The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exhibition catalogue. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven: distributed by Yale University Press, 2006. François Daulte.. Auguste Renoir, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint.. Paris: Durand-Ruel.. 1971.. Paris.. Septième Exposition des artistes indépendants.. March 1-31, 1882.. Paris: Galerie Durand-Ruel.. Exposition Renoir.. 1900.. Paris: Grand Palais.. Salon d'automne.. Oct. 15-Nov. 15, 1904.. Berlin: Galerie Paul Cassirer.. Ausstellung Franz°sische Moderne Malerei.. 1904-05.. Durand-Ruel. A Selection from the Pictures by Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley. Exhibition catalogue. Paris: Durand-Ruel, 1905. Paris: Hôtel de la Revue.. Exposition d'art moderne.. 1912.. Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs.. Cinquante Ans de Peinture Française.. May 28-July 12, 1925.. Paris: Musée de l'Orangerie.. Exposition Renoir 1841-1919.. 1933.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.. Exhibit Six: Impressionist Paintings.. Opened Sept. 18, 1956.. Wildenstein & Company. An Exhibition of Treasures from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Paintings, drawings & rare silver, for the benefit of the Committee to Rescue Italian Art, inc. (CRIA). Exhibition catalogue. New York: Wildenstein & Company, 1967. Art Institute of Chicago.. Paintings by Renoir. Feb. 3-April 1, 1973.. 1973.. London: Hayward Gallery (Arts Council of Great Britain).. Renoir. Jan. 30-April 21, 1985; Grand Palais, Paris, May 14-Sept. 2, 1985; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Oct. 9, 1985-Jan. 5, 1986. Catalogue by John House. Shapiro, Barbara Stern, et al. Pleasures of Paris: Daumier to Picasso. Exhibition catalogue. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1991. Watson, Wendy M., and Thomas Branchick. Altered States: Conservation, Analysis and the Interpretation of Works of Art. Exhibition catalogue. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art, 1994. Kern, Steven, et al. A Passion for Renoir: Sterling and Francine Clark Collect, 19161951. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1996 Georges Lecomte.. "L'Oeuvre de Renoir.". L'art et les artistes, 5.. (April-Sept. 1907).. Royal Cortissoz.. Seven Paintings by Renoir.. Paris, New York: Durand-Ruel.. [19--?].. François Fosca.. Renoir.. London.. n.d.. R. H. Wilenski.. Modern French Painters.. New York.. 1940.. . . L'Illustration. Oct. 15, 1904.. Claude Roger-Marx.. "Le salon d'automne.". Gazette des beaux-arts.. Dec. 1904.. Alexandre, Arsène. "Exposition d'art moderne." Les arts (1912). C. L. Borgmeyer.. "The Master Impressionists.". Fine Arts Journal.. 1913-14.. Vollard, Ambroise. Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 2 vols.. Paris: A. C. Mazo. 1918 (rprt. Paris, 1954).. Geffroy, Gustave. "Renoir, peintre de la femme". L'art et l'artiste, n.s. 1. Jan. 1920.. Georges Rivière.. Renoir et ses amis.. Paris: Floury.. 1921.. François Fosca.. Renoir.. Paris.. 1923.. Vollard, Ambroise. Renoir, An Intimate Record. New York: A. A. Knopf. 1925; 1934. Royal Cortissoz.. "Auguste Renoir and the Cult for Beauty.". International Studio.. Aug. 1928.. Julius Meier-Graefe.. Renoir.. Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann.. 1929.. George Besson.. Renoir.. Paris.. 1932.. Georges Grappe.. "Renoir.". L'art vivant.. July 1933.. Barnes, Albert C. and Violette de Mazia. The Art of Renoir. New York. 1935. Claude Roger-Marx.. Renoir.. Paris: Floury.. 1937.. Michel Florisoone.. Renoir.. Paris.. 1937.. Charles Terrasse.. Cinquante portraits de Renoir.. Paris: Librairie Floury.. 1941.. Michel Drucker.. Renoir.. [Paris]: P. Tisne.. 1949, c. 1944.. C. G. Görlich.. Renoir.. Milan.. 1945.. Marcel Zahar.. Renoir.. Paris.. 1948.. . "Renoirs in the Clark Collection.. 139:559.. The Connoisseur.. (March 1957).. Helen Comstock.. "The Connoisseur in America.". 139: 559.. Connoisseur.. (Feb. 1957).:pp. 64-68.. C., R. F. "Williamstown: Nuove opere alla Galleria Clark." Emporium 129, no. 770 (February 1959): 76-81. Daulte, François. "Des Renoir et des chevaux." Connaissance des Arts 103 (September 1960): 26–38. Hermann, Luke. "The French Impressionists." In The Concise Encyclopedia of Antiques: Compiled by The Connoisseur. Edited by L. G. G. Ramsey. London and New York: Taylor Garnett Evans and Alwin, 1961. Ramsey, L. G. G., ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of Antiques. London: The Connoisseur, 1962. Ashbery, John. "Williamstown-sur-Seine." Art News 65, no. 10 (February 1967): 4447, 62. Soichi Tominaga.. L'Art moderne du Monde, vol. 4, Renoir.. Tokyo: Zauho Press.. 1969.. George Heard Hamilton.. Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Art.. New York: Abrams.. 1970.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1970. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1972. Elda Fezzi.. L'opera complete di Renoir, nel periodo impressionista 1869-1883.. Milan: Rizzoli.. 1972.. S. Lane Faison, Jr.. "Renoir's Hommage à Manet." in Intuition und Kunstwissenschaft: Festschrift für Hans Swarzenski sum 70. Geburtstage.. Berlin: Mann.. 1973.:pp. 571-78.. Callen, Anthea. Renoir. London: Oresko Books. 1978. Waller, Bret. "How to Draw American." The Register (Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas at Lawrence). (Vol 5:5). 1978: pp. 56-57.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1984. White, Barbara Ehrlich. Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters. New York: Abrams, 1984. Washington (DC): National Gallery of Art. The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886. Jan. 16-April 6, 1986;. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, April 19-July 6, 1986.. Cat. by Charles S. Moffett. Nicholas Wadley.. Renoir.. London: John Calmann & King.. 1987.. Robert L. Herbert.. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society.. New Haven: Yale University Press.. 1988.. Horst Keller.. Auguste Renoir.. Munich: Bruckmann.. 1987.. Sophie Monneret.. Renoir.. Paris: Editions Chêne.. 1989.. Brooke, David S. "Robert Sterling Clark and the Clark Art Institute." Laurels 56, no. 3 (Winter 198586): 137–48. Lucie-Smith, Edward. Impressionist Women. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New York: Harmony Books, 1989. Kern, Steven, ed. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1992. Kern, Steven, et al. The Clark: Selections from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1996. Ruth Berson.. The New Painting, Impressionism 1874-1886. Documentation, 2 vols.. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.. 1996.. Ivinski, Patricia R. "Robert Sterling Clark as a Collector of Renoir." The Magazine Antiques 62, no. 4 (October 1997): 532–35. George Banu.. Le Rideau ou la fêlure du Monde.. Paris: Editions Adam Biro.. 1997.. Tamar Garb.. Bodies of Modernity: Figure and Flesh in Fin-de-Siècle France.. London: Thames and Hudson.. 1998.. Curtis Rist.. "How to Heal a Masterpiece.". 20:4.. Discover.. (April 1999):pp. 72-79.. Curtis Rist.. "How to Heal a Masterpiece" Spanish language version.. Discover, Spanish language.. House, John. Impressionism: Paint and Politics. New Haven: Yale Univeristy Press, 2004. Allen, Brian T. "Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute." American Art Review: Special edition, The Western Massachusetts Art Trail XVI, no. 3 (2004): 162-169. Cahill, Timothy. Art in Nature: The Clark Art Institute Today and Tomorrow. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francince Clark Art Institute, 2003. DVD. 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. Ganz, James A. and Richard R. Brettell. Great French Paintings from the Clark: Barbizon through Impressionism. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Skira Rizzoli Publications; Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2011. Polley, Robert L., ed. Great Art Treasures in America's Smaller Museums. Text by Harold E. Haydon. New York: Putnam's, 1967. Paris: Galeries Durand-Ruel.. Portraits par Renoir.. June 5-20, 1912..



[Dubourg, Paris, sold to Durand-Ruel, 30 Nov. 1880, as ];¹ [Durand-Ruel, Paris, from 1880]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, until 1928, consigned to Holston]; [William H. Holston Galleries, New York, sold to Clark, 28 May 1928]; Robert Sterling Clark (1928–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955. 1. Durand-Ruel Archives, Paris, “Journal 1880,” 30 Nov. 1880. See also Hayward Gallery, Renoir, exhibition catalogue, 1985–86, p. 219, and Colin B. Bailey, Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age, exhibition catalogue, 1997–98, p. 49n164.