The subject of this painting is Robert Nunès, the son of the mayor of a small town on the Normandy coast in France. Dressed in a sailor-boy outfit—a popular costume at the time for children of the well-to-do—he strikes a confident, almost arrogant, pose. Renoir was also commissioned to paint a portrait of Robert's sister, and apparently the siblings were challenging subjects. In a letter written at the time, Renoir reported that he was "busy with two brats who make me furious."
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