The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Aline Victorine Charigot was 25 years old when Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) painted her portrait in 1885. Born in the Champagne region of France, she was raised by her single mother and worked as a seamstress in Montmartre. She and Renoir first met in 1879 when she was 21 and he 38. Although Aline appears in several of his group portraits, most notably as the young woman with the dog in The Luncheon of the Boating Party (JAMA cover, June 22/29, 1994), Portrait of Madame Renoir (cover ) is one of only three solo portraits Renoir made of Aline, and the only one which shows her as a young woman. Depending on whether the date of the work is accepted as 1884 or 1885, she has just been—or is about to be—delivered of the couple's first child. (Although Aline sometimes wore a wedding band—here she does not—the couple were not formally married until April 1890.)
Southgate MT. Portrait of Madame Renoir. JAMA. 2006;295(12):1344. doi:10.1001/jama.295.12.1344