This work will be included in the catalogue critique being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute from the François Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein archives.
Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired from the artist on December 5, 1895)
Thence by descent
The present work belongs to a series of oils that Renoir completed in the early 1890s of young women wearing elaborately decorated hats (fig. 5). The present work is a refined example of this theme, depicting the sitter in a wide-brimmed, flounce-covered Charlotte hat, named after the 18th century queen of England. Renoir's particular interest in hats was well-known. Suzanne Valadon, who served as a model for some of these compositions, claimed that the artist had these floral headpieces specially made for his models, and they were commonly seen laying about his studio (fig. 3). Albert André remembered entering one of Renoir's studios, and seeing this colorful sight: "His studios, whether in Paris or in the country, are empty of any furniture that might encourage visitors to stay for long. A broken down divan, covered in clothes and old flowered hats for his models; a few chairs that are always cluttered with canvases" (Albert André, Renoir, 1919, reprinted in Renoir, A Retrospective, New York, 1987, p. 262).
During the 1890s, Renoir's social life was divided into two distinct parts, both reflected in his work. On one side were his elite clientele whom he depended upon for portrait commissions, and on the other were the lesser-known models, most often young girls, such as his housemaid Gabrielle, whose youth and beauty offered him a diversion in his old age. While painting society portraits sustained the artist's way of life, depicting unidentified young women enabled him to take greater liberties in the execution of his paintings. The present picture is a wonderful example of Renoir exercising his artistic freedom. With no obligation to flatter or even acknowledge his model, he practically omits her face, covering it with the generous flounce of her hat. He instead lavishes his attention upon the crisp fabric of her dress, pleating over her shoulder and cinching at the neck, and the airy crinoline of her hat, adorned with a floral sprig.
The writer Téodor de Wyzewa once described Renoir's style as an art whose "main effect is not to arouse in us the illusion of a perfectly reproduced reality, but to release, for us, an image of this reality whose lines have greater sweetness, whose shades are at once lighter and more vivid, where the siren song of an eternal spring floats on the air. And thus it is that, even more than that of his companions, M Renoir's art originally surprised and shocked public taste" (Téodor de Wyzewa, 1903, reprinted in ibid., p. 233).
Paul Durand-Ruel (fig. 2), who acquired this work directly from the artist in 1895, never exhibited this picture or published it in any of the monographs of the artist. Although the model has not been identified, one likely candidate is the young Julie Manet (1878-1966, fig. 1), the daughter of Berthe Morisot and the niece of Édouard Manet. During the summers of 1890 and 1891, Renoir frequently visited Morisot at Mézy, and it was here that he probably completed this picture. At the time he painted this work, Julie Manet would have been around 13 years old. In his memoirs, Renoir's son, Jean, wrote about his father's relationship with these two girls and what became of each of them in later years: "Before she died, Berthe Morisot had asked my father to look after her daughter, Julie, then aged seventeen and her nieces, Jeanie and Paule Gobillard. Being a trifle older than the other two girls, Paule took charge of 'the Manet house,' as my parents called the mansion at number 41, rue de Villejust. Jeanie was to marry the poet Paul Valéry, after whom the street was later to be renamed. Paule became so wrapped up in playing the part of the big sister that she never married. Julie, a painter herself, was to marry the artist Rouart. In Berthe Morisot's day, the Manet circle had been one of the most authentic centres of civilized Parisian life. Although my father, as he grew older, avoided artistic and literary sets like the plague, he loved spending an hour or two at the house on the rue de Villejust. It was not intellectuals that one met at Berthe Morisot's but simple good company" (Jean Renoir, from "Renoir, My Father," reprinted in ibid.).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Смотреть аукцион онлайн