Copyright 2018 Southampton City Art Gallery All rights reserved

On Display

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Portrait of Wilhelm Muhlfeld

Renoir studied at the studio of artist Charles Gleyre in Paris where he met future fellow-Impressionists Sisley and Monet. After exhibiting in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874 he turned to portraiture to earn a living and establish his reputation. He painted portraits throughout his career but is best known for scenes of Parisian society. These celebrated the simple pleasures of life marked by the Impressionist emphasis on light and colour captured first hand.

The portrait of Wilhelm Muhlfeld was made while holidaying in Wessling am See near Munich in 1910. Muhlfeld was one of four sons from a musical family. He had played the oboe in a military band and served with the Prussian army in France in 1870-71. Renoir uses thin washes of colour (the canvas clearly visible beneath) to create an honest but sympathetic portrayal - Muhlfeld looks rather dishevelled having drunk quantities of beer to calm himself down after a heated argument.

Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions550mm x 458mm
Acquisition NumberSOTAG : 1964/3
Credit LinePurchased in 1964 with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund