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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

Sleeping Girl


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.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 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)
Object Number 1955.598
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1926
Status On View

Image Caption

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sleeping Girl, 1880, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.598.


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.


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.