Lot 359
  • 359

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR | Gerbe d'anémones

350,000 - 450,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Gerbe d'anémones
  • signed Renoir (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Louis Bernard
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the above in 1916)
Collection Fassett-Arbouin (acquired from the above in 1917)
Bernard Lorenceau, Paris
Gisèle Rueff-Béghin, Neuilly-sur-Seine (acquired from the above in 1956; sale: Sotheby's, London, 29th November 1988, lot 12)
Private Collection, Europe (purchased at the above sale; sale: Sotheby's, New York, 10th November 1992, lot 10)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2012, vol. IV, no. 2668, illustrated p. 7

Catalogue Note

In Renoir’s Gerbe d’anémones, painted circa 1905, the artist has demonstrated his painterly talents in the virtuoso rendering of a bunch of multi-coloured anemones. The canvas is exceptional for the free and vigorous handling of the paint, which animates the sensuous profusion of blossoms and conveys the effect of a motif rapidly perceived. The blooms are voluptuous and enticing, offering a vivid example of the flaming tones that Renoir embraced with such enthusiasm at the beginning of the 1900s. Showing a broad range of red and pink tones, the present work evokes the frailty of the flowers while maintaining a certain immediacy of execution. Renoir was very much aware of the classical tradition of flower painting and works such as Gerbe d'anémones constituted a sort of symbolic transposition of the female body for the artist. The sensuous, fleshy petals of the flowers became vehicles for the representation of the female body, a subject that occupied him consistently throughout the 1900s. Renoir confessed to the art dealer Ambroise Vollard that he saw flowers as ‘research of flesh tones for a nude’ (M. Lucy & J. House, Renoir in the Barnes Foundation, New Haven & London, 2012, p. 263). Even more explicitly, he once compared anemones with the female sex (reported in de Butler, Renoir: Écrits, Entretiens et Lettres sur l’Art, Paris, 2002, p. 207). 

Paintings such as Gerbe d'anémones encouraged Renoir to challenge his own technique, pushing him to explore new depths of colour. He once stated: 'Painting flowers rests the brain, I do not bring the same tension to them as I do when I am face to face with a model. When I paint flowers, I place colours and experiment with values boldly, without worrying about wasting a canvas' (quoted in M. Lucy & J. House, Ibid., p. 263).

This work will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.