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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir
1841 - 1919
POMMES
signed Renoir (lower left)
oil on canvas
24 by 34.2cm., 9 1/2 by 13 1/2 in.
Painted in 1898.
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This work is accompanied by an Attestation of Inclusion from the Wildenstein Institute, and it will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

Provenance

Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Sale: Palais Galliera, Paris, 1st April 1963, lot 82
O'Hana Gallery, London (acquired by 1963)
Private Collection (sale: Christie's, New York, 3rd November 1982, lot 30)
Private Collection, Cleveland (purchased at the above sale; sale: Sotheby's, New York, 18th May 1990, lot 332)
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale; sale: Christie's, New York, 13th November 2015, lot 1285)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

New York, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, Renoir, Degas, A Loan Exhibition of Drawings, Pastels and Sculptures, 1958, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue
London, O'Hana Gallery, Summer Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture of the 19th and 20th Centuries, 1963, no. 40, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1918, vol. II, n.n., illustrated p. 100
Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, San Francisco, 1989, no. 1260, illustrated p. 268
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2010, vol. III, no. 1713, illustrated p. 34

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1898, Pommes beautifully exemplifies Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s proclivity for painting the more traditional subject matter of the still life, a tendency that began to occupy an increasing importance in the artist’s output from the early 1880s and which was to flourish as Renoir was freed from the dependency of client commissions and dealer’s expectations. The artist painted and sold many small still-life paintings during the later years of his life and the present work, with its charmingly informal composition, can be seen to epitomise this type of still life. The soft brushing of the background blends into areas of blank canvas contrasting the vibrantly painted bodies of the fruit whilst allowing the canvas to play its own part visually in the painting’s construction.

The still life genre allowed for a certain degree of improvisation that the portraiture most often associated with the artist restricted him from. In Pommes one can see how the subject matter allowed for experimentation with light and colour. The present work is demonstrative of the appreciation that Renoir held for the still life; he once told Albert André that it was in these small works with their informal compositions that ‘he put the whole of himself, that he took every risk’ (Albert André, Renoir, Paris, 1928, p. 49). Short, yet slightly feathery, brushstrokes enhance the tactile nature of the pieces of fruit whilst retaining dynamism that further brings them to life. Within the present work, Renoir interweaves the traditional subject matter of the still life with the softness of the Impressionist palette to superb effect.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London