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“Portrait of Misia Godebska-Sert” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Misia renoir 1903

“Portrait of Misia Godebska-Sert” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“Portrait of Misia Godebska-Sert” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir shows Misia Sert, née Godebska, who was a notable figure in the circle of artists in Paris at the turn of the century. She first married in 1903, and later she married the Spanish painter José Maria Sert, and it is as Misia Sert that she is most remembered. Misia Sert (1872 – 1950) was a pianist of Polish descent who hosted an artistic salon in Paris and was a patron and friend to numerous artists.

Misia Sert

Misia Sert at age fifteen argued with her stepmother which caused her to leave home and move to London. After several months she returned to Paris, taking her lodgings and supporting herself by teaching piano to students. At the age of twenty-one, she married her twenty-year-old cousin. Their home eventually became a gathering place, for such cultural lights as Marcel Proust, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Signac and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The entertainment was lavish, and all were mesmerised by the charm and youth of their hostess. Sert appeared in advertising posters created by Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard plus she featured in a number of Renoir portraits.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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, Renoir’s paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated colour, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of colour, so that his figures softly fuse with their surroundings.

He was a prolific artist who created several thousand paintings. The single most extensive collection of his works, about 181 paintings, are part of the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia.


  • Did she ever imagine that her portraits would hang in some of the world’s leading museums?

Explore Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Portrait of Misia Godebska-Sert

  • Title:          Portrait of Misia Godebska-Sert
  • Artist:        Auguste Renoir
  • Year:          1904
  • Medium:   Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: Height: 92.1 cm (36.2 in); Width: 73 cm (28.7 in)
  • Museum:    National Gallery, London

Pierre-Auguste Renoir


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


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