Sir William van Horne, Montreal (acquired from the above on on July 25, 1890 and sold from his Estate: Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, January 24, 1946, lot 7)
Jan Deyn (acquired from the above)
Private Collection, Monaco
Alex Reid & Lefevre (The Lefevre Gallery), London (after February 1971)
Acquired on October 1, 1976
Tokyo, Bridgestone Museum of Art & Nagoya, City Art Museum, Renoir: from Outsider to Old Master, 1870-1892, 2001, no. 46, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Barbara Ehrlich White, Renoir: His Life, Art and Letters, New York, 1984, illustrated p. 159
Nicholas Wadley (ed.), Renoir: A Retrospective, New York, 1987, illustrated p. 167
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. II, Paris, 2009, no. 1301, illustrated p. 384
The greatest manifestation of this technique is seen in Renoir's Les Grandes baigneuses of 1887. Renoir began to exchange the immediacy of scenes of everyday life with the permanence of more traditional subject matter, as well as the influence of classical painting techniques. La Toilette is likely an antecedent to the aforementioned 1887 painting, as well as a bold representation of the developing style that would govern Renoir's art in years to come. John House writes the following on Renoir's fascination with the subject of the female nude in outdoor settings: "On his travels Renoir painted many landscapes and informal outdoor subjects, but his more serious efforts were reserved for themes which tread the borderline between everyday life and idyll-themes with obvious echoes of eighteenth century art. He painted a long series of nudes, mainly young girls in outdoor settings, whom in a letter he called his 'nymphs.' Mainly single figures at first, he brought them together in groups around 1897 in several pictures of girls playing which translate the subject of the 1887 Bathers into a fluent informality very reminiscent of Fragonard's Bathers (Musée du Louvre, Paris)" (J. House, Renoir (exhibition catalogue), London, The Hayward Gallery, 1985, pp. 250-51).
One of the first collectors to own La Toilette was William Cornelius van Horne (1843-1915), President of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne amassed a large collection of Impressionist art that he acquired from Durand-Ruel galleries in New York, including works by Cézanne, Cassatt, Monet, Pissarro and other canvases by Renoir. The picture remained with the Estate until it was sold in New York in 1946.
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