Doreen Carvajal at Tablet:
“La Petite Irène” was plundered from the Chambord castle on orders of Goering, an obsessive collector who was not a fan of Renoir because Nazis considered his impressionist style degenerate. But he still used the valuable art for trading: Goering swapped the portrait in 1942 for a Florentine Tondo with a Paris gallery dealer who was one of his chief art procurers. Some historians contend that the painting was then bought by another Swiss gallery owner who held it along with others for Bührle because of the growing risks of buying plundered art.
After the war, the portrait ended up in a 1945 Munich collection point for spoils of war and then at a 1946 exhibition of plundered masterpieces at l’Orangerie in Paris. It was there that Irène Cahen d’Anvers spotted the tender version of herself, a work that she hunted for after the war, calling it a delightful memory of her youth. She had survived the occupation, cloistered in her Parisian apartment.