English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm a native French speaker and the following is translated from French:

A production still in which the beauty of the natural elements and colours evoke the Renoir of A Day in the Country (1936) and Picnic on the Grass (1959).

This is indeed something you can say in French: a person's name is preceded by the definite article and followed by an indication of "context" (here: two films directed by Jean Renoir), meaning Renoir's style as can be appreciated in those works, or the way Renoir would do things at the time.

The English translation (not mine) is literal and doesn't sound correct to me. Could you give me your opinion (and ideas to improve it)?

share|improve this question
I had to read it twice. I would like a comma: A production still, – mplungjan Jun 20 '13 at 11:27
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is fine. It has the connotation you describe - the Renoir as exemplified by those works.

An alternative "...evoke Renoir's A day..." would be possible, but would suggest these two specific works, rather than the group of works of similar style.

share|improve this answer
Thanks very much. I've learned something. – Glauber Rocha Jun 20 '13 at 11:01
Articles (the, a, an) can be used with proper nouns in some cases where referring to a particular instance or example of that noun. – TrevorD Jun 20 '13 at 12:18
Or, as here I believe, a particular incarnation (cf 'the young Turner'). – Edwin Ashworth Jun 20 '13 at 19:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.