January 30, 2007

Not Good Enough For My Home - reviewing "Two Sisters (On the Terrace)" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The days I sat in longing on a bench in Chicago's Art Institute with my mother, staring with fascination at this portrait are behind me. Time and age and death have stolen this pleasure. My appreciation of "Two Sisters (On the Terrace)" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is still there. My visits to the two sisters continue with every passing through the esteemed art museum, but I never sit as long.

I was eight, and Renoir was 55 years gone. His message of romance: naive, pure and welcoming still spoke and still speaks to me now, 30 years later. Whether is was the beautiful young girl in the front, or her equally delicate sister, I cannot say, but asphyxiated with their demure smiles far outshone any subtle smirk portrayed on Mona Lisa. Smothered by their grace and gentle, innocent sophistication, I yearned to be where they were, and to find what emotive elixer put them at such ease.

The original painting is by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painted in 1881. It is an oil on canvas, and in French is called "Deux soeurs (sur la terasse)." Although 100 x 80 cm from Renoir's brush, this one is 71.12 x 55.88 cm. Almost proportionately correct, the astute artisan may still find himself bothered by the green frame with the title and artist. In creating a pop-art variation of a classic work, the publisher removes a portion of the artist's intention.

Purchasing the original is out of reach, but owning a better quality print is quite possible. Fall in love, as I have, with two sisters waiting in peace on a cool spring day, but do not compromise by buying a print not worthy of their charm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another wistful, melancholy masterpiece, Brockeim.