Two Sisters (On the Terrace)
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Arty Fact

jhorvat's picture


The models who sat for Renoir’s work Two Sisters weren't actually related.

Turns out the first owner wasn't such a fan of the sisterhood title and changed it to On the Terrace later historians changed it back to Renoir's original title. While no one knows who modeled as the younger sister, the figure of the older sister is based on the visage of eighteen-year-old Jeanne Darlot.

After posing for Renoir on the terrace of the Restaurant Fournaise overlooking the Seine in the village of Chatou, Jeanne tried her hand at acting, appearing in French comedic productions. Unfortunately, when the stage was not as kind to her as she to it, Jeanne switched her profession to that of sexual companion. Ms. Darlot became the kept mistress of a French chocolate manufacturer before giving up the bon-bons to be the mischievous mademoiselle of influential senator.

Renoir had a mistress or two himself during his life. A seamstress turned model named Lise Tréhot was Renoir’s romantic interest in his younger years. Tréhot was the mother of Renoir’s first child Jeanne, a girl who he never publicly acknowledged. Man, girls named Jeanne just couldn’t catch a break back then. In his later years, he sired his son Pierre with his longtime beau Aline Charigot. Five years after Pierre’s birth Renoir finally married Charigot and legitimized his son.

Speaking of legitimacy, the real version of Renoir’s Two Sisters hangs proudly in the Art Institute of Chicago where it has been showcased since 1933 when Annie Coburn bequeathed it to the museum. This would barely be worth mentioning if not for the years-long claim of President Donald Trump saying that he owns the real version of Renoir’s masterpiece. Trump’s fake portrait of the Two Sisters once hung in his private jet before he moved it to Trump Tower in New York. The fake can even be seen in background of Trump’s interview with 60 Minutes from when he was president-elect. Both those at the Art Institute and other art historians and scholars are all confident that the real Two Sisters has its home in Chicago.

Unlike President Trump, The French Impressionist painter never really cared about any criticisms of his personal life, nor did he take stock in the criticisms of his work. In fact, the basket containing balls of wool in Two Sisters is supposedly a response to an art critic who threw shade at Renoir’s style of painting. The critic compared his paintings to knitting when he called one, “A weak sketch seemingly executed in wool of different colours.” Renoir clapped back with the inclusion of colorful balls of wool in this painting, showing the world he couldn’t care less about their ~fake~ opinion. Right on, Renoir.




  1. Editors. “Pierre-Auguste Renoir.” A&E Television Networks. 22 Feb. 2016. Accessed 15 July 2017. Web.
  2. GalleryIntell Staff. “Two Sisters by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.” Accessed 15 July 2017. Web.
  3. “Impressionism: Moon Tang talks on Renoir's Two Sisters(On the Terrace), 1881.” Modernist Art History. 25 Jan. 2015. Accessed 15 July 2017. Web.
  4. “Overview: Renoir's Two Sisters (On the Terrace).” Art Institute of Chicago. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in The Art Institute of Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago, 2000, p. 71. Web.
  5. Bilton, Nick. “DONALD TRUMP’S FAKE RENOIR: THE UNTOLD STORY.” Vanity Fair. Accessed 23 Oct. 2017. Web.
  6. Graham, Chris. “'Fake art': Donald Trump 'boasts he has original Renoir' - but Chicago gallery says it's not authentic.” The Telegraph. Accessed 23 Oct. 2017. Web.