The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

“The Theater Box” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir 023

“The Theater Box” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir also knew by its French name “La Loge”,  portrays a couple in their theatre box. Theatre in Paris at the time of this painting was a rapidly expanding form of entertainment and culture. The theatre was a prominent place to meet people and to be seen. Wealth and fashion were on parade. In this painting, Renoir focused upon the theatre scene as a social stage where status and relationships were on public display.

Central to this painting is the blue eyes of the elegantly dressed woman. She has lowered her opera glasses, revealing herself to the audience. The gentleman is hidden by his over-sized opera glasses, focusing his gaze elsewhere.

The models for this painting were Renoir’s brother Edmund and Nini Lopez, a model from Montmartre. Edmund wears formal attire which was typical of the gentlemen’s evening attire worn for the theatres. Nini models a fashionable ensemble which was worn for the opening night performances.

Renoir’s paintings are notable for their light and colour and the warm sensuality of Renoir’s style made his paintings some of the most famous works in the history of art.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality. He was a prolific artist, having created several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir’s style made his paintings some of the most well-known and frequently reproduced works in the history of art.

Some of Renoir’s masterpieces featured in the “Joy of Museums” include:

Essential Details:

  • Title:                The Theater Box
  • Français:         La loge
  • Deutsch:          Die Loge (Die Orchesterloge)
  • Artist:               Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Date:                1874
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  127 × 92 cm (50 × 36.2 in)
  • Museum:        Courtauld Gallery




“The pain passes but the beauty remains.” Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Photo Credit 1) Pierre-Auguste Renoir [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons