96 (Breeskin 53)
Madame Berard's Baby in a Striped Armchair
Alternate title(s): Baby in a Striped Armchair; Enfant sur un fauteuil; Enfant sur un fauteuil (Mlle Berard); Enfant sur un fauteuil, Mme Bernard [sic]; Enfant sur un fauteuil, Mme Bernard [Mlle BĂ©rard]; Enfant sur un fauteuil (Portrait of Mlle Lucie Bernard [sic]); Infant on a Chair, Portrait of Lucie Berard; Portrait de Mademoiselle Lucie Berard; Portrait de Mlle Lucie Berard; ?Portrait of Lucie Berard
1881
Pastel on paper
25 x 26 1/2 in. (63.5 x 67.31 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Mary Cassatt
Private collection

provenance / ownership history
Possibly with Paul Berard (father of the sitter), Paris and Wargemont, France
Durand-Ruel, Paris, mid-1917 (Paris stock #10995, Paris photo #8311, as Enfant sur un fauteuil [Mlle Berard])
to Durand-Ruel, New York, November 3, 1917 (N.Y. stock #4117), until at least 1933
Galerie Charpentier, Paris, April 4, 1957, #1, ill., as Portrait de Mademoiselle Lucie Berard
private collection, by 1967
possibly with O'Hana Gallery, London
to Stephen Hahn Gallery, New York, c. June 1967 (through Marlborough Fine Art, London)
to Wally F. Galleries, New York, 1968
to Wally Findlay, New York, 1968
Gallery 345 (a branch of Wally F. Galleries), Beverly Hills, California
to private collection, 1972

exhibition history
1932 Durand-Ruel NY: #10, as Enfant sur un fauteuil, Mme Bernard [Mlle BĂ©rard]
1933 Reinhardt Galleries NY: #15, as Enfant sur un fauteuil, Mme Bernard [sic], lent by Durand-Ruel
1968 Wally F NY: no #, ill., as Enfant sur un fauteuil (Portrait of Mlle Lucie Bernard [sic])
1969 Wally F NY: #13, ill., as Enfant sur un fauteuil (Portrait of Mlle Lucie Bernard [sic])
1981 San Jose: #28, ill., as Infant on a Chair, Portrait of Lucie Berard, lent by private collection, Philadelphia, Pa.
1985 Phila Museum: #11, ill., as Baby in a Striped Armchair, lent by private collection

published references
Jewell 1932a: p. 17, as Enfant sur un fauteuil
Gazette Drouot 1957a: p. 1, as Portrait de Mlle Lucie Berard
Renoir, P. 1968: p. 56, as "le pastel Ă  Mlle Cassatt"
Lindsay 1985: p. 52, as Baby in a Striped Armchair
Pickvance 1986: p. 264n77, as "'Portrait d'enfant'. . . . unlikely"
Dillon 1990: pp. 93--94, as Baby in a Striped Armchair
Bailey 1997: pp. 184, 317n1, as Baby in a Striped Armchair

commentary

Lucie Louise Berard (1880–1977), who is depicted in Madame Berard's Baby in a Striped Armchair, was born July 10, 1880. Her father, the diplomat Paul-Antoine Berard, was Pierre-Auguste Renoir's greatest patron and commissioned numerous family portraits from him in the early 1880s.[1] As Colin B. Bailey explains, Berard also commissioned Cassatt to portray his daughter Lucie in the spring of 1881, while Renoir was in Algiers.[2] Apparently Berard felt the need to obtain Renoir's permission before proceeding with the commission, for Renoir wrote to his patron, "Go ahead and let Miss Cassatt make the pastel. I would not be upset to have a neighbor."[3] Upon returning to France in the summer of 1881, Renoir completed an unusual group portrait of the Berard children, Studies of the Children of Paul Berard (Williamstown, Mass., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute), in which the figures are presented in a collage format, with Lucie portrayed three times. It seems likely that Cassatt created her portrait of Lucie in the late spring or summer of 1881.

Presumably Madame Berard's Baby in a Striped Armchair was first owned by the Berards, though no evidence that they possessed the work has been located. Cassatt remained friendly with the family, writing in 1886, "The Berards live about six miles & a half from here [her summer rental at Arques-la-Bataille, France], it was partly our reason for coming, they expressed great pleasure at having us for neighbors, but they are rather far off."[4]

PAI

[1] For more information on Berard and on Renoir's portraits of the Berard family see Colin B. Bailey, "Portrait of the Artist as a Portrait Painter," in Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age, eds. Colin B. Bailey et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, in association with National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1997), exh. cat., pp. 34, 36–39. See also the individual entries on the Berard portraits included in that exhibition.

[2] Bailey 1997, p. 184.

[3] Pierre-Auguste Renoir to Paul Berard, Algiers, 1881, in "Lettres à un ami," La revue de Paris (December 1968), p. 56: "Faites donc faire le pastel à Mlle Cassatt. Je ne serais pas fâché d'avoir un voisin." The letter is not dated but was written in Algiers, where Renoir spent March and April of 1881.

[4] MC to Lois Cassatt, Arques-la-Bataille, June 30, [1886], in Cassatt and Her Circle: Selected Letters, ed. Nancy Mowll Mathews (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984), p. 199.

NOTE: Some sources spell the name Berard with an accent (Bérard); the Mary Cassatt Catalogue Raisonné Committee follows the example of Bailey et al. and spells the name with no accent.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Studies of the Children of Paul Berard, 1881, oil on canvas, 24 5/8 x 32 1/4 in. (62.6 x 82 cm). Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
[Would be good to show one or more of the Renoir portraits of Lucie; also, D-R photo before work was cropped.]

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keywords:
 baby
 sitting
 stripes
 armchair
 child
 portrait
 blue
 dress
 hat
 looking left
 girl
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