Oil on canvas. Painted c.1905.
Canvas size: 7 x 12.5in / 18 x 32cm
Frame size: 13 x 18.5in / 33 x 47cm
Mme Rudolphe Hess (née Blanche Vandenbroeck), Waterloo
Musée Royaux de Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels (bequest of the above in 1978)
Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, vol. II, Paris, 1918, n.n., illustrated as part of a larger canvas pl. 7
Guy-Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles 1903-1910, vol. IV, Paris, 2012, no. 3037, illustrated p. 209
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue critique of Pierre Auguste Renoir being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute established from the archives of Francois Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein.
This painting is sold with a photo-certificate ref. no.12769 from the Wildenstein Institute, Paris.
Significantly, Renoir did not exhibit with the Impressionists beyond 1877 after experiencing doubts about the spontaneity and impermanence of the Impressionist aesthetic. This refusal to be defined purely by Impressionist thinking and techniques demonstrated Renoir’s constant exploration of art that had preceded him. He began to look back to the Old Masters for an art of structure, craft and permanence, and in 1881 visited Italy to continue his self-education. On his return, his figures became more sculptural and crisply drawn, which in turn led to a concentration on the colouristic tradition of Rubens and Titian in the late 1880s. This variety was also his strength, as he was able to explore new avenues that were not open to those unwilling to break free from the constraints of pure Impressionism.