There’s so much to say about this work. The girl on the left is Renoir’s girlfriend; she was drawn talking across the table, but he didn’t want his lady to be chatting for eternity with another man. Gustave Caillebotte (fellow Impressionist, known for the “Rainy Day in Paris”) sits backwards in his chair and sports a fedora. Cute.
Flash forward to 1923, when Duncan Phillips buys the painting. Contemporary collector Albert Barnes visits DC. The man owned plenty of Renoir works and sneers, “Is this your only Renoir?”
“It’s the only one I need,” Phillips responded.