Estate of the artist
Pierre Renoir, Paris (inherited from the above)
Etienne Vautheret, Lyons (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 16, 1933, lot 23)
Hodebert Collection, Paris
Private Collection, Switzerland
Carstairs Gallery, New York
Mrs. C. Lockhart McKelvy, Perrysburg, Ohio
Acquired from the above in 1962
Toledo Museum of Art, The Collection of Mrs. C. Lockhart McKelvy, 1964
Columbia, University of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archeology, Reopening of European and American Gallery, 1986-87
Portland, Maine, Portland Museum of Art, Impressions of the Riviera: Monet, Renoir, Matisse and their Contemporaries, 1998, no. 62
Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, no. 402, illustrated pl. 130
The Toledo Museum of Art, European Paintings, Toledo, 1976, illustrated pl. 255
Feeling restricted in telling a narrative through painting portraits, Renoir found inspiration in the natural serenity of the Mediterranean coast which allowed him to depict relationships through landscapes and figures. It was in Cagnes that the artist saw nature as a timeless paradise. Unlike his companion Monet, Renoir was not interested in topography and instead focused on the relationship between a place and its surrounding atmosphere.
Renoir was very intent on depicting nature in a dream-like setting. He proposed, "How hard it is to find in a picture the exact point where imitation of nature should cease. A painting must not stink of the model, yet it must keep the scent of nature" (quoted in François Daulte, Renoir, London, 1959, p. 15).
Time is suspended in the present work. Painted in 1910, the bright colors and contrasts in the composition liberate the scene from the canvas. The brush strokes are informal yet carefully composed, mimicking Renoir’s understanding of nature as boundless. Although the present work portrays Renoir’s avant-garde edge, it remains consistent in depicting him as "a faithful priest of the art which is immortal because it is the earthly reflection of eternal, divine beauty" (Nicholas Wadley, Renoir: A Retrospective, New York, 1987, p. 277).
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