Feb. Lobby Painting- Madame Charpentier and Her Children

You can see the original of painting, Madame Charpentier and Her Children

By Pierre Auguste Renoir at

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan!

February 2020 Lobby Painting, Madame Charpentier and Her Children By Pierre Auguste Renoir

In this painting, the artist treated the subject with respect.  He painted the scene exactly as it was with all the furniture and objects left in place.  Renoir created softness in the portrait by using repeating and harmonious colors.

The two dominant elements of art are color and texture.  The most important figures in the painting have the least amounts of color.  The yellow and orange background help make the people and dog stand out.  The textures of the dog’s coat, the lace on the dresses, and the wicker chair are clear.  This gives reality to the picture.

The two main principles of design used by the artist are contrast and composition.  There is a contrast between the cool and warm colors.  There is a sharp contrast between the black colors of the mother and dog with the pale blue of the children’s clothing.  The composition is triangular with the mother’s head at the apex.  The mother’s position shows protection and dominance.  Did you know the middle child is a boy?

About the Artist

Pierre Auguste Renoir was born in France in 1841 to a working-class family.  He was apprenticed at a porcelain-painting factory.  When he began earning money, Renoir saved enough to enroll in art school.  He was interested in painting figures and was commissioned to paint family portraits.  Madame Charpentier and Her Children is one of these portraits.