Jean Renoir Sewing
Why my father had insisted on showing me in this outfit that I hated I don’t know. My father loved to paint my hair, and his fondness for the golden ringlets which came down to my shoulders filled me with despair. At the age of six, and in spite of my trousers, many people mistook me for a girl. Street urchins ran jeering after me, calling me 'Mademoiselle' and asking me what I had done with my skirt. I impatiently awaited the day when I was to enter the College de Sainte-Croix, where regulations required a hairstyle more suited to middle-class ideals. To my great disappointment my father constantly postponed the date of my entry, which for me signified the blissful shedding of those locks.
As his two youngest sons grew older, Renoir’s cross-dressing of them becomes even more distinct and more shocking. . In a painting titled Jean Renoir Sewing Jean truly is unmistakable from a girl. He is wearing a red dress, and his long blonde hair is tied up with another pinkish ribbon. Later, in Claude Playing, Renoir painted his youngest son in yet another red dress with another ribbon.
This pattern for cross-dressing his sons is nearly as odd as Renoir’s obsession with not cutting their hair. Although it represented a less permanent change - as he only crossed dressed them when he painted them, not all the time, it still indicates a strong desire to feminize his sons and transform them into something they were not.