Tama, the Japanese Dog

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

Tama, the Japanese Dog

c. 1876

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)
Object Number 1955.597
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1930
Status On View

Image Caption

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.