Skip to main content

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, A Nymph by a Stream

Key facts
Full title A Nymph by a Stream
Artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Artist dates 1841 - 1919
Date made 1869-70
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 66.7 × 122.9 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1951
Inventory number NG5982
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Nymph by a Stream
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

This is one of the first nudes that Renoir painted. He took a traditional artistic approach, depicting the woman in a natural setting, reclining by a stream as though she were a naiad (water nymph) from the world of Greek mythology. She appears to be lying on a grassy, flower-flecked bank beside the stream, leaning with her elbow in the brook and allowing the water to flow between her fingers, but Renoir’s brushstrokes are so fluid that we can’t be entirely sure where the bank ends and the water begins.

This painting is also – in some senses – a portrait. Rather than idealising the nymph’s features in the way that more academic contemporary painters, such as Ingres, would have done, Renoir has made her recognisable. She is Lise Tréhot, the artist’s lover and the female model for almost all of his work during the early stages of his career.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo