113
113

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
PETITE BAIGNEUSE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 785,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
113

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
PETITE BAIGNEUSE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 785,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
1841-1919
PETITE BAIGNEUSE
Signed Renoir (lower right)
Oil on panel
3 1/2 by 2 5/8 in.
9.0 by 6.7 cm
Painted circa 1876.
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This work will be included in the catalogue critique being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute from the François Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein archives.

Provenance

Bignou Gallery, Paris & New York
Sam Salz, New York
Acquired from the above in 1954

Exhibited

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts; Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais & London, Hayward Gallery, Renoir, 1985-86, no. 37, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

As a leading member of the Impressionists, Renoir was one of the few artists to rise to the challenge of reinvigorating the time-honored subject of the nude. No other avant-garde painter of the late nineteenth century, aside from Degas, focused more of his energy on painting this subject and achieved such extraordinary results. "Renoir loved women," Ann Dumas writes in her assessment of the artist's work; "to the end of his life, it was by his painting of women that he wanted to be judged" (Ann Dumas, Renoir's Women, New York, 2005, p. 9).  Indeed, Renoir's most beloved compositions are depictions of young women, and those he created during the 1870s and 1880s are considered his most accomplished. It is in these pictures that the artist established himself as the quintessential portraitist among the Impressionists.

Emile Verhaeren, a contemporary poet and art critic of Renoir, summed up the artist's paintings of nudes and highlights the quality of Renoir's stylistic details illustrated in the present work. Verhaeren writes, "Here... is an utterly new vision, a quite unexpected interpretation of reality to solicit our imagination. Nothing is fresher, more alive and pulsating with blood and sexuality, than these bodies and faces as he portrays them. Where have they come from, those light and vibrating tones that caress arms, necks, and shoulders, and give a sensation of soft flesh and porousness? The backgrounds are suffusions of air and light; they are vague because they must not distract us" (quoted in Gerd Muehsam, ed., French Painters and Paintings from the Fourteenth Century to Post-Impressionism: A Library of Art Criticism, New York, 1970, pp. 511-12).

Petit baigneuse is related to the larger composition Étude. Torse, effet de soleil (see fig. 1), exhibited during the second Impressionist group exhibition of 1876. Shortly after this show Étude. Torse, effet de soleil was purchased by Gustave Caillebotte who bequeathed it to the French state upon his death. Initially in the Musée du Luxembourg, then the Louvre, it now resides in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York