Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this … Read more Property formerly in the Collection of Janice Levin, Sold to Benefit The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation*
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Le châlet de Blanche Pierson à Pourville

Details
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Le châlet de Blanche Pierson à Pourville
signed 'Renoir' (lower left)
oil on canvas
21¼ x 25¾ in. (54 x 65.4 cm.)
Painted in 1882
Provenance
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Paris (acquired from the artist, before August 1891).
Paul Durand-Ruel, Paris.
Marie-Louise d'Alayer, Paris.
Sam Salz, Inc., New York (acquired from the above circa 1965).
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Levin, New York (acquired from the above, April 1968).
Gift from the above to the present owner, 2001.
Literature
J. Meier-Graefe, Renoir, Leipzig, 1929, p. 159, no. 154 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Exposition P.-A. Renoir, May 1892, no. 32.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Paysages par Claude Monet et Renoir, May-June 1908, no. 58.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Paysages par Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Renoir et Sisley, January 1933, no. 29.
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Landscape in French Art, December-March 1950, no. 265.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Exposition Renoir, May-October 1958, no. 20.
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Collects, July-September 1968, p. 36, no. 181.
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Very Private Collection: Janice H. Levin's Impressionist Pictures, November 2002-February 2003, p. 53, no. 13 (illustrated in color).
The Birmingham Museum of Art and elsewhere, An Impressionist Eye: Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, February 2004-January 2005.
Special notice

No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this lot if it is picked up or delivered in the State of New York.
Post lot text
*This lot may be tax exempt from the sales tax as set forth in the Sales Tax Notice at the back of the catalogue.
Sale room notice
Please note that this work has been requested for the exhibition Renoir's Landscapes, 1865-1883, to be held at the National Gallery, London from February to May 2007, the National Gallery of Canada from June to September 2007 and the Philadelphia Museum of Art from September to December 2007.

Lot Essay

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 François Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein.

Guy-Patrice and Michel Dauberville have confirmed that this painting is included in their Bernheim-Jeune archives as an authentic work.

The present work depicts the summer cottage of Blanche Pierson (1842-1919), a French stage actress, famed beauty, and member of the Comédie-Française (fig. 1). Le châlet de Blanche Pierson à Pourville is thought to be Renoir's attempt to curry favor with Pierson by painting her house in Pourville, a small resort and fishing village two and a half miles west of Dieppe. Renoir sought to win a commission for her portrait, but he never painted the actress herself. Portrait commissions had been Renoir's sole livelihood between 1876 and 1880, but by 1882, the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel was buying the painter's works on a regular basis. Freed from immediate financial concern, Renoir may have wished to paint Pierson to repeat the success of his portrait of the actress Jeanne Samary, 1878 (coll. Hermitage; St Petersburg) at the Salon of 1879.

While primarily an image of a particular residence, the present painting also displays groups of people at leisure. The figures are clearly vacationers enjoying a carriage ride or a chat with friends. Addressing Renoir's use of figures in this work, Richard Shone has written, "Whereas colleagues such as Pissarro and Sisley tended to include in their landscapes figures indigenous to the working and agricultural communities where they painted, Renoir's figures are often vacationers or people finding leisure and refreshment on a day's excursion to the country. This is particularly true, of course, of his beach scenes and views of the Normandy coast and the Channel Islands" (exh. cat. op. cit. 2002-2003, p. 53). The pleasant atmosphere of this work reflects a statement that Renoir wrote to a colleague: "I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it" (quoted in ibid., p. 14).

(fig. 1) Nadar, Photograph of Blanche Pierson, from François le Champi at the Comédie-Française, circa 1890.

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