Lot 43
  • 43

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Les rosiers à Wargemont
  • Signed, inscribed C. de Wargemont and dated 1879
  • Oil on canvas
  • 25 5/8 by 31 7/8 in.
  • 65 by 81 cm.


Charles Deudon, Paris
Baron Robert de Rothschild, Paris
Succession Mme. B. (sold: PIASA- Picard, Audap, Solanet & Associés- Paris, June 11, 1997, lot 76)
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's New York, May 11, 1999, lot 105)
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Renoir, 1883, no. 50
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Cinquante ans de peinture française, 1921, no. 66
Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Renoir, 1933, no. 43
Paris, Palais National des Arts, Chefs d'oeuvre de l'art français, 1937, no. 395
Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1942 (on loan)
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Chefs d'oeuvre de l'art français, 1957


Théodore Duret, Renoir, Paris, 1924, no. 18, illustrated
Julius Meier-Graefe, Renoir, Leipzig, 1929, no. 107, illustrated p. 132
L'Amour de l'art, May 1937, illustrated p. 37
Maurice Bérard, Renoir à Wargemont, Paris, 1938, illustrated
Michel Drucker, Renoir, Paris, 1944, illustrated pl. 55
Gemain Bazin, L'Epoque impressionniste, Paris, 1947, illustrated pl. 31
Elda Fezzi, L'opera completa di Renoir nel periodo impressionista, 1869-1883, Milan, 1972, no. 364, illustrated p. 105
François Daulte, Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1974, no. 19, illustrated p. 90
François Daulte, "Renoir et la famille Bérard," L'Oeil, February 1974, illustrated p. 6
Barbara Ehrlich White, Renor: His Life and Letters, New York , 1984, illustrated p. 92
Nicholas Wadley, Renoir, A Retrospective, New York, 1987, illustrated p. 169

Catalogue Note

This view of the rose garden at the Château de Wargemont was painted during the summer of 1879 when Renoir was staying with Paul Bérard and his family. Renoir and Paul Bérard (1830-1905), a diplomat and company director who came from a family of Protestant bankers, probably met in the salon of Madame Charpentier in 1878 and rapidly established a very close relationship.  Charles Deudon, heir to a mining fortune (and the first owner of this painting), who also frequented the Charpentier salon, persuaded Madame Bérard to have Renoir paint a full length portrait of her daughter, Marthe (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) and this led to a sequence of portraits of Paul Bérard and his wife, Marguerite, their four children - André, Lucie, Marthe and Marguerite - as well as a nephew and niece, Alfred and Thérèse and even their concierge (Daulte 294).


Among the Bérard family portraits were some of Renoir's most celebrated studies of children, including the study of all four children, Les Enfants of 1881 (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts) and L'aprés-midi des enfants à Wargemont of 1884, Nationalgalerie, Berlin (see fig. 1). Renoir also painted a series of game panels (see fig. 2), flower pieces and mythological overdoor as decorations for the Château de Wargemont.  The relationship between patron and artist was unusually harmonious.  The Bérard family accepted Renoir as a valued friend; through their wide circle of powerful friends, they introduced him to members of the Protestant and Jewish banking community who commissioned portraits from him.


Described by Mary Cassatt as “a pretty place, an English park, rather isolated” (quoted in Colin Bailey, Renoir Portraits: Impressions of an Age, (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1997 p. 38), the eighteenth century manor house of Wargemont had passed to Bérard through his maternal grandmother.  Located only ten kilometers north of Dieppe, the château was an ideal place for Renoir to relax and explore the surrounding countryside and coastline. Renoir had portrayed Monet painting in his garden at Argenteuil in 1873 (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut) and periodically during the eighteen-seventies painted garden scenes with a human presence (La Serre of 1876 and Le Jardin de la rue Cortot à Montmartre of 1876 in the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh). Here the human presence is reduced to two straw-hatted figures seen entering the house in the distance through the bed of standard roses which dominates the foreground. This view of the château, possibly in early spring, shows that the rose bed was relatively small in relation to the building, but by placing his easel close to the border of the circular bed Renoir exaggerated its scale.

Fig. 1, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, L'après-midi des enfants à Wargemont (Marguerite, Lucie, and Marthe Berard), 1884, oil on canvas, Nationalgalerie, Berlin