Art historian Richard Rand ’83 lent his expertise to a recent report on the art news website artnet. Rand, who is associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California, was asked his opinion about a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir that President Donald J. Trump claims to own.
The oil-on-canvas painting, Two Sisters (On the Terrace), was created by the French impressionist master in 1881 and is on display in The Art Institute of Chicago, which has owned it since 1933, according the museum’s catalog. President Trump however says he owns the original.
Could they both be correct? Might Renoir have made two copies? Unlikely, said Rand, who believes Trump’s painting is a fake. “While on rare occasions Renoir made variants of his painted compositions, he never copied himself or made precise duplicates of his oil paintings,” he told artnet. “If I were presented with a picture that was an exact copy of a famous Renoir hanging in a museum, I would guess it was probably a reproduction of some kind.”