War and Insurrection (32) - Return to Paris
End May 1870, Renoir managed to take refuge in Louveciennes during the brief government of the Paris Commune. Only two months later, the Communards were defeated by the government troops led by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon. By a conservative estimate 20.000 Parisians lost their lives in the streets.
In June, Renoir returned to Paris and took a room in the rue Dragon, near the apartment of the musician, art collector and arts patron Edmond Maître. Perhaps this little portrait of the relaxing and reading Maître was the first oil that Renoir made.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait d’Edmond Maître ou Le liseur (Portrait of Edmond Maître or The Reader), 1871. Oil on canvas, 22.2 x 28.9 cm. Private collection.