173
173

PROPERTY OF A LADY

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
FEMME À CORSAGE À RAYURES JAUNE ET ROUGE ÉCRIVANT
Estimate
700,0001,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
173

PROPERTY OF A LADY

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
FEMME À CORSAGE À RAYURES JAUNE ET ROUGE ÉCRIVANT
Estimate
700,0001,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir
1841 - 1919
FEMME À CORSAGE À RAYURES JAUNE ET ROUGE ÉCRIVANT
Stamped Renoir (upper left)
Oil on canvas
17 3/4 by 21 in.
45 by 53.3 cm
Painted in 1918.
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This work will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

Provenance

Estate of the artist
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the above)
Private Collection, Paris (acquired from the above)
Paul Rosenberg, Paris (acquired from the above)
Placed by the above in the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l'Industrie, Giroude
Confiscated from the above by Walter Andreas Hofer acting on the orders of the Einsatzstab Reichleiter Rosenberg on September 14, 1941 (inv. no. P.R. 158)
Exchanged with Gustav Rochlitz for the Reichskanzlei, June 16, 1942
Stored at Muehlhofen/Meersburg until at least August 15, 1945
Repatriated to the French government and restituted to Paul Rosenberg on July 18, 1946
Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York (acquired from the above in 1952)
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in October 1961)
Private Collection, New York (by descent from the above in 1981)
Thence by descent

Literature

Albert André & Marc Elder, Renoir's Atelier, San Francisco, 1989, no. 648, illustrated pl. 202 (dated 1898)
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. V, Paris, 2014, no. 4049, illustrated p. 271

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1918, the present work displays extraordinary richness of tone and texture, the hallmarks of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s best work. The sitter is likely Andrée Heuschling, nicknamed Dédée, a local bakery girl who joined the Renoir household to help care for the aging artist and would become his last model. The year after the artist’s death she married his son, the film director Jean Renoir, and acted in several of his films. Isabelle Gaëtan writes: "From her first meeting with Renoir (between 1915 and 1917 according to accounts), Andrée stood out among the regular visitors to Les Collettes, where she became the painter’s favorite model. She married Jean Renoir in 1920, and four years later began a career as an actress under the name of Catherine Hessling, in one of the first films scripted by her husband" (Isabel Gaëtan in Renoir in the 20th Century (exhibition catalogue), Galeries Nationales, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles & Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 2009-10, p. 342). Dédée posed for some of Renoir’s most celebrated late works, including Femme à la mandoline and Le Concert, now in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

Writing of Renoir’s last masterpiece Les Baigneuses, which reflects the artist’s delight in painting this young model, John House comments: “According to Albert André, the beauty of this 'superb redhead' was the incentive he needed to undertake his last paintings” (John House in Renoir (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery, London; Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris & Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1985-86, p. 288). Femme à corsage à rayures jaune et rouge écrivant ultimately stands as a testament to Renoir’s superlative ability to capture youth in its prime.

The present work was with legendary dealer Paul Rosenberg until it was placed, along with 161 others, in a vault near Bordeaux for protection from air raids after the occupation of France in June 1940. Within a year, the vault was discovered and the Einsatzstab Reichleiter Rosenberg (ERR) seized its contents and moved them to the Jeu de Paume to await their next destination. Gustav Rochlitz, a dealer active in France described as a "chief participant in exchanges of paintings confiscated by the ERR," acquired this work through an exchange with the ERR in 1942 (ALIU intelligence list, WWII OSS Art Looting Investigation Reports, Final Report, p. 67). However, rather than transferring to the Göring collection as originally intended, this particular work was instead kept by Rochtlitz and stored at his private depot in Muhlofen-Meersburg until it was reclaimed by the Allies at the end of the war. Within a year of the war's end the painting returned to Paul Rosenberg, its rightful owner.

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