Pierre Auguste Renoir, Coco, 1905
This glowing portrait of the artist's youngest son, aged four, was presented to the Art Gallery of South Australia by Lady (Ursula) Hayward.
In 1890, at the age of 49, Renoir married Aline Charigot by whom he had three sons, Pierre, Jean and Claude (Coco). Renoir particularly enjoyed painting the long reddish hair of his sons Jean and Coco, and insisted that it not be cut.
Renoir's light touch and feathery brushwork were well-suited to the delicacy of his sons skin, hair and features. The sensitive brushwork is particularly apparent in the long, fine strokes which contribute to the subtle blending of impressionist colours. Pure tints coalesce to produce warm, glowing flesh tones, rich golds and vibrant reds.
This is a quietly personal view of the artist's son. Coco is absorbed in some childish pursuit, and Renoir's dreamy, languorous colours and style have captured the moment, allowing the viewer to share an intimate mood.