Portrait of a young woman allegedly Gabrielle, the artist's housemaid oil on card 10.7 x 9.5cm (4 3/16 x 3 3/4in).
PROVENANCE: Walter Horst Nessler, Germany Mr Denys J Wilcox, United Kingdom Private collection, United Kingdom
In 1996, Francois Daulte suggested that this charming work could be a fragment from a more important larger work. Daulte also stated that its provenance was probably the Galerie des Beaux Arts, Paris circa 1940. In 1998, Christophe Riopelle, while curator of 19th century paintings at The National Gallery, London confirmed that the work was highly likely to be a fragment and suggested that it is similar to a number of small head studies painted by Renoir in his later years. Many of these studies are illustrated in A. André L'Atelier de Renoir, (Paris, 1931) (reprinted as Renoir's Atelier 1 vol, 1989), nos 501-631. These portrait sketches are often unsigned, as exemplified in this lot.