Perhaps the “Lodge” – one of the most famous paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Despite the name, the box is marked on the picture only as a minor plan, in the form of several expressive elements. The basis of the work is a double portrait. The foreground is occupied by a woman who has lowered one hand with a small, theatrical binoculars on the side of the box, and the other, with an openwork scarf, laid it on her knees.
Behind her is a man in an imposing pose, carefully watching through the binoculars for something happening. Both figures are located almost tightly to each other, but this does not create the impression of their commonality. Ladies dress is registered in all details. You can look at each fold of her dress from the fabric with wide vertical stripes, pearls, wrapped around the neck and artificial flowers that adorn the outfit. All this creates an image of a beautiful stranger, which will surely take a look everyone entering the auditorium. In contrast to the brilliant outfit, the expression on the face of a woman is restrained and somewhat strict.
The corners of her lips are raised, but she is more sad than happy about something. The woman’s gaze is thoughtful and does not give the impression that she is passionate about action. Rather, her thoughts are somewhere far from what is happening on the stage. Despite the well-written details, they do not catch the eye and do not distract the viewer from admiring the face of the lady: the binoculars in her hand almost merge with the side of the box, the scarf with the white glove on her hand. The whole picture is written in yellow, pearl and almost black tones, flowing along the canvas from the bottom up.
This creates not only the image of a beautiful, thoughtful stranger, but also the fact that the heroine is in the theatrical box. The combination of black and pearl color is one of the finds of Renoir. It is noteworthy that as a male model for this picture, Edmond, the artist’s brother, posed for Renoir.