Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Acrobats in the Cirque Fernando (Francisca and Angelina Wartenberg), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1879, oil on canvas, 131.2 x 99.2 cm (51 ½ x 39 1/16 in.)


One of the four permanent circuses in Paris, the Cirque Fernando, opened in Montmartre in 1875 and attracted an enthusiastic following among the members of Impressionists’ circle. The painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir shows Francisca Wartenberg (left) and her sister, Angelina (right), members of an itinerant German acrobatic group. Ages 17 and 14, respectively, take the girls their bows after a performance, collecting the tissue wrapped oranges that were thrown at them as tributes by members of the public.
– Permanent collection label, Art Institute of Chicago

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