Lot 32
  • 32

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
845,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Capo di Monte, Sorrente (Baie de Naples)
  • signed Renoir and dated 81 (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 54 by 65cm.
  • 21 1/4 by 25 1/2 in.


Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist on 22nd May 1882)

Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the above on 31st December 1883)

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the above on 25th August 1891)

Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the above)

Mme Jean d’Alayer de Costemore d’Arc, Paris (by descent from the above)

Sam Salz, New York (acquired from the above on 27th April 1977)

Janet Traeger Salz, New York (acquired from the above)

Acquired from the above by the present owner in March 1991


Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Renoir, 1900, no. 22

Berlin, Galerie Paul Cassirer, Französische Moderne Malerei, 1904-1905, no. 49

London, Grafton Galleries, Paintings by Boudin, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley exhibited by Messrs. Durand-Ruel & Sons, 1905 (titled View of Naples)

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition de paysages par Claude Monet et Renoir, 1908, no. 65

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paysages par Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Renoir et Sisley, 1933, no. 28

Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, Exposition Renoir, 1933, no. 64

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Les artistes français en Italie de Poussin à Renoir, 1934, no. 283

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Quelques toiles importants de collections particulières des XIX et XXe siècles, 1945, no. 37

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Hommage à Renoir, 1958, no. 16

London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., Renoir, an exhibition of paintings from European Collections in aid of the Renoir Foundation, 1956, no. 6, illustrated in the catalogue

Vevey, Musée Jenisch, Renoir, 1956, no. 8

Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni & Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, L’Italia vista dai pittori francesi del XVIII et XIX secolo, 1961, no. 258


Albert C. Barnes & Violette de Mazia, The Art of Renoir, New York, 1935, no. 112, illustrated p. 266

Francesco Fosca, Renoir, His Life and Work, London, 1961, illustrated in colour p. 133

Barbara Ehrlich White, ‘Renoir’s Trip to Italy’, in The Art Bulletin, vol. LI, no. 4, December 1969, illustrated pl. 20

Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2010, vol. I, no. 169, illustrated p. 22

Catalogue Note

At the end of October 1881 Renoir left France for Italy, arriving in Venice in the first week of November. His initial reason for travelling to Italy was to study the work of the Masters of the Italian Renaissance but like many of his contemporaries, once there he was immediately struck by the unique quality of light that bathed the city. He spent a number of weeks working there before continuing his journey down through Italy to Naples. As Christopher Riopelle writes: ‘Like Algiers earlier in the year, where brilliant sunlight and the city’s proximity to the sea dazzled him, at Naples Renoir was struck by the gradations of the light and by the city’s imposing location on a sweeping bay overlooking the Mediterranean. Towering over the scene was the distinctive profile of Vesuvius, universal symbol of nature’s force’ (C. Riopelle, in Renoir Landscapes 1865-1883 (exhibition catalogue), The National Gallery, London, 2007, p. 249).

During his time there he also ventured out into the surrounding countryside and visited both Capri and Sorrento. It was one of these trips that inspired the present work. As with his depictions of Naples, the impressive height of Vesuvius is the distinguishing feature of the composition, but in Capo di monte, Sorrente (Baie de Naples) the mountain is almost lost amidst the haze of light that hangs over the sea. Using the distinctive parallel brushstrokes that he developed in the works of this period, Renoir brilliantly evokes the soft light and tonal harmonies of the Mediterranean landscape, focusing not on rendering precise topographical detail, but on capturing the atmosphere of the place.