I first saw the Daydreaming ( La rêverie in French), also known as the Portrait of Jeanne Samary by Augustin Renoir at the Louis Vuition Fondation last autumn in Paris. Jeanne was a young actress in la Comédie-Française (the French Theatre) from 1875. Instantly the moment I discovered it right at the entrance of the Morozov Collection, it became my new favourite artwork. There is something so dreamy, so pure about the painting that dazzeld me, taking me away into the deep blue oceans in her sparkling eyes. The coral rosy colour made her eyes stand out even more. She was sitting there, quitely, in the beautiful turquoise blue dress that reveal the décolleté, soft and plump. Her hand gently placed on the chin, with a regard forward, not at you, but through you. I just stood there for minutes on end, totally mesmerised by its beauty and youthfulness flowing out from the painting.
There was another full-body portrait of Jeanne Samary, also by Renoir and exhibited in the very same room, in a more elegant, understated manner, but less enticing to me. Among all the masterpieces in the Collection, by Manet, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Lautrec, Sisley, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Denis, Maillol, Matisse, Marquet, Vlaminck, Derain and Picasso, La rêverie stood out as the star of the show, a work of art that touched me deeply. For the first time I knew the encapturing power of a portrait that could envelop you in the world of the person inside the painting.