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Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Paysage, allée de ferme avec femme en rouge et blanc

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Paysage, allée de ferme avec femme en rouge et blanc

Oil on canvas: 9.9(h) x 11.9(w) in / 25.1(h) x 30.2(w) cm
Signed lower left: Renoir

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PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR

Limoges 1841 - 1919 Cagnes

Ref: BZ 280

                                               

Paysage, allée de ferme avec femme en rouge et blanc

 

Signed lower left: Renoir

Oil on canvas: 9 7/8 x 11 7/8 in / 25.1 x 30.2 cm

Frame size: 15 x 17 in / 38.1 x 43.2 cm

In a Louis XIV style carved and gilded frame

 

Painted in 1918

 

 

Provenance:

Estate of the artist, sold after 1919

Raphael Levy, France;

by descent to M Maurice, France, circa 1940

 

Literature:

Albert André, Messrs. Bernheim-Jeune and Marc Elder, Renoir’s Atelier. L’Atelier de Renoir, Paris 1931, revised edn. San Francisco 1989, p.243, no.593, pl.186

Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. V, 1911-1919 and 1st Supplement, Paris 2014, p.148, no.3873, illus. 

 

This work will be included in the forthcoming Renoir Digital Catalogue Raisonné currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc., ref. 21.10.14/20930

 

 

In 1907 Renoir purchased the small estate of Les Collettes in Cagnes, just west of Nice on the Côte d’Azur. He said: ‘in this marvellous country, it seems as if misfortune cannot befall one; one is cosseted by the atmosphere’. Captivated by Provençal landscape and culture, Renoir was determined to preserve the rural character of the property and left the original farm buildings untouched, building a new house on the estate which he moved into with his family in 1908. John House remarks that ‘Almost like Monet, who built his water garden as his ideal pictorial subject in his last years, Renoir would construct at Les Collettes a physical world which fulfilled his pictorial vision. But it was quite different in two crucial ways: Monet built his anew, to his own aesthetic specifications, while Renoir’s was old, preserved as an idealized vision of past society; and Monet’s was an elaborately cultivated garden, conceived as an object of solitary contemplation, whereas Renoir’s view of nature necessarily implied the human presence, which the olives and the old farm evoked so richly’[1].

In Paysage, allée de ferme, a woman – indicated by a few glowing dabs of red and white – is embowered in the heat and lush vegetation of a Mediterranean summer. Renoir’s joy as a colourist is evident in the rich, intertwined skeins of yellow and green in the shimmering leaves, and the ancient, twisted olive trunks composed of every warm shade from pink to burgundy to mahogany brown. The fretwork of leaves parts to reveal a sky of perfect, Provençal blue. Renoir’s imagination was set free by these small, informal landscapes, which he painted almost daily during his latter years in Cagnes, finding a bottomless fund of inspiration in his beloved Les Collettes. He commented: ‘I know I can’t paint nature, but I enjoy struggling with it. A painter can’t be great if he doesn’t understand landscape. Landscape, in the past, has been a term of contempt, particularly in the eighteenth century; but still, that century that I adore did produce some landscapists. I’m one with the eighteenth century. With all modesty, I consider not only that my art descends from a Watteau, a Fragonard, a Hubert Robert, but also that I am one with them’[2].

 

 

 

 

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR

Limoges 1841 - 1919 Cagnes

 

Pierre-August Renoir, one of the best loved of the Impressionists, always painted the beauties of nature: harmonious landscapes, flowers, fruit, children and women. He began his career at the age of thirteen as a painter on porcelain in a factory in Paris. He soon gave this up in favour of painting fans and decorating blinds, which he did until 1862, when he had saved enough money to support his ambition to study art. He enrolled in classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and in 1864 had his first painting accepted at the Paris Salon.

During this period Renoir also studied in the atelier of Charles Gleyre, where he became friends with Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille.  In 1863 Manet’s Déjeuner sur l'Herbe caused uproar at the Salon des Refusés and made a deep impression on the group of young painters. They began to go on expeditions to the Forest of Fontainebleau to paint en plein air and started to develop a palette and style of painting that formed the foundation of Impressionism. In 1869 Renoir worked alongside Claude Monet at La Grenouillière on the Seine, producing what are considered to be the first landscapes painted in the Impressionist style. 

Although Renoir continued to submit his works to the Salon throughout the early 1870s, he also continued to explore his new approach to light and colour and to forge strong links with other like-minded artists such as Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley and Edgar Degas. By 1874 the group was so disaffected by the constraints placed upon them by the Salon jury that they decided to mount their own exhibition which challenged the accepted tradition of official art exhibitions. In April 1874 the group held the first of the Impressionist exhibitions.

This group of artists exhibited eight times between 1874 and 1886 and Renoir participated on four occasions. In 1878 his painting Madame Charpentier and her children (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) was accepted at the Salon. The painting was critically well received and Renoir finally began to sell his paintings; for the first time he experienced a degree of financial security. As Renoir’s popularity grew he travelled more and gradually began to adopt a different approach to his art. The Impressionists were suffering from internal disputes which led Renoir to disassociate himself from them; consequently he did not take part in the eighth and final show in 1886.

Throughout the rest of his life Renoir’s work continued to develop. He visited the South of France, Italy and North Africa, where he painted dramatic, highly-coloured landscapes. He eventually married his companion Aline Charigot and as his family grew he experienced a new contentment. In 1907, suffering from ill health, he purchased a property in Cagnes-sur-Mer near Nice on the Côte d’Azur where he settled with his family and painted until his death in 1919.  

[1] London, Hayward Gallery/Paris, Grand Palais/Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Renoir, 1985-6, pp.287-8.

[2] Quoted in Renoir, 1985-6, op. cit., p.277.

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