S otheby’s upcoming sale of The Renand-Chapet Collection on 18 October will bring to auction one of 20th century’s most daring and eclectic private collections.
Its owner, Georges Renand, was the director of famous department store La Samaritaine from 1928 to 1968, and built the collection with his daughter, Jeannine Chapet. Many of the masterpieces that he bought and sold can today be found in the world’s leading museums: Van Gogh's Paysanne près de l’âtre and Seurat's Vue de la Seine are now in the Musée d’Orsay and the New York Metropolitan Museum respectively.
Three works in particular stand out in this collection. The first, Cézanne's Abricots et cerises sur une assiette, was painted between 1877–1879, and represents a turning point in the artist’s approach. In this work his vision, perception of light and conception of space were all simultaneously transformed, hinting at the wave of revolutionary modernism that was to come.
The second notable work is a drawing by master draughtsman Georges Seurat, La femme au panier, which depicts a working woman of the kind the artist would have often seen in Le Raincy, a small town outside Paris, and one of the many instances of everyday life that the artist would draw to perfect his technique, Seurat’s interest in modern life in the suburbs of Paris is well known from his masterpieces La Baignade à Asnières and La Grande Jatte.
The third striking work in the collection is Renoir’s Portrait which depicts the Bohemian figure Baron Barbier, a close friend of famous writer Guy de Maupassant. This is the face of the mysterious figure seen from behind in Renoir's famous Le Déjeuner des Canotiers.
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