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)’ (John House in: Renoir (exhibition catalogue),The Hayward Gallery, London, 1985, pp. 250-51).
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