Model for clock case

20th century
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)

Object Place: Europe, France


Overall: 83.8 x 61 x 32.5 cm (33 x 24 x 12 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





Oblong base with panels of ribbon-tied vines, on six feet. Two projections front and back with ram’s heads. Two nude figures, woman with sheaf at left, man with scarf at right, stand on rough-hewn mound for clock, supporting cupid with torch on cloud and globe. Signed and dated at left of woman’s foot.

Renoir took up sculpture late in his life, working with the help of another artist and exploring a wide range of themes and styles. This plaster model for a clock case presents an allegory celebrating youth and suggesting the passage of time. Archetypal nude figures of a woman and a man look up at a triumphant figure of a child who sits upon the globe and holds a flaming torch. The model recalls decorative arts of the 18th century, when similar allegorical clock cases were modeled in clay for final production in bronze.


Signed and dated at left of woman's foot.


Édouard Jonas (b. 1883 - d. 1961), Paris [see note 1]. By 1960, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York; probably sold by Slatkin Galleries to A.M. (Abraham Malcolm) Sonnabend (b. 1896 - d. 1964), Boston; 1961, gift of Mr. Sonnabend to the MFA. (Accession date: September 20, 1961)

[1] This is the original plaster model for two bronze casts that were made in 1961. According to a letter from Charles E. Slatkin to Joseph Schlang (March 21, 1972), the original plaster (that is, the MFA object) "came from the collection of Édouard Jonas, Paris."

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. A. M. Sonnabend