Lot 119
  • 119

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

180,000 - 220,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Paysage au Béal 
  • stamped Renoir (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Sale: Christie’s, London, 16th July 1948, lot 71
Matthieson Gallery, London (probably)
Sale: Christie’s, London, 25th June 1985, lot 122A
Richard Green Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1990s


Bernheim-Jeune (ed.), L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, vol. I, no. 287 (lower section), illustrated pl. 89
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles 1903-1910, Paris, 2012, vol. IV, no. 2932 B., illustrated p. 152

Catalogue Note

By the turn of the century, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was already an established and esteemed artist, with Paysage au Béal providing a charming example of his exquisite skills as a landscapist and unique contribution to the Impressionist canon. Renoir moved to the south of France in 1897 in search of warmth and sunlight, after which he produced some of the most attractive landscapes of his entire career. It was in this genre that he felt able to demonstrate the most informal and improvisatory aspects of his art, a feature that is very evident in this work.

Paysage au Béal is a tour-de-force of plein-air painting, appearing as a panorama that has fleetingly entered the artist’s frame of vision and which has been captured in an instant through animated brushwork. In certain areas, Renoir’s touch becomes gestural, with thick green impasto adding to the depth of the composition. The impression of casual execution is contrasted by the work's overall harmony, resulting from a complex composition in which each formal element – river, sky, mountain range – is perfectly articulated. Renoir valued landscape painting above all other disciplines, once declaring to Berthe Morisot that it was ‘the only way to learn one’s craft’ (September 1892).