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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jeune fille assise dans un pré

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Jeune fille assise dans un pré
stamped with signature 'Renoir.' (Lugt 2137b; lower right)
oil on canvas
115/8 x 125/8 in. (29.5 x 32 cm.)
Painted in 1916
Pierre Renoir.
M. Knoedler & Co. Inc., New York.
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 4 April 1978, lot 14.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Bernheim-Jeune, ed., L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, vol. I, no. 578 (illustrated, pl. 182).

Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the forthcoming Renoir catalogue raisonné from François Daulte being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute.

Jeune fille assise dans un pré was painted during a period of great productivity for Renoir. In 1910 Renoir sent thirty-four paintings to Durand-Ruel's Impressionist show, where he sold Aprés Déjeuner (coll. Städtische Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt) for a record price of 125,000 French Francs. In the years that followed there were four one-man exhibitions of his work in Paris, St. Petersburg and New York, and Renoir saw the prices paid for his paintings climb. Collectors, such as the American Alfred C. Barnes, acquired his pictures in large quantities and even at auction his paintings achieved prices in excess of those paid for works by Monet.

The present painting depicts a young woman, posed informally, in a pastoral landscape. During these years Gabrielle Renard was a frequent model for Renoir and it is likely that she posed for this work. A relative of his wife Aline, she had lived with the family since the birth of their second son. In Jeune fille assise dans un pré Renoir integrates her figure with the landscape. Painting with fluid brushstrokes, he captures the effect of the shimmering light as it strikes her white blouse and the abundant olive groves that surround her. The painting is typical of Renoir's landscape views of Cagnes from this period, which were painted on a small format in a rapid, sketch-like technique. John Rewald characterized this late period in Renoir's oeuvre as "the synthesis of his lifelong experience" in which pigment was used not to render atmospheric effects but "to build with brilliant and strong colors an image of life in almost supernatural intensity (that) was exalted in color, subtle rhythm, forceful in volumes and rich in invention, progressing from the canvas with fertile imagination and happy rendition" (The History of Impressionism, New York, 1973, p. 584).

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