Audio: Pierre Auguste Renoir's Jacques-Eugène Spuller
Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
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Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jacques-Eugène Spuller

Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Jacques-Eugène Spuller
signed 'Renoir.' (upper right)
oil on canvas
18¼ x 15 1/8 in. (46.2 x 38.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1877
Jacques-Eugène Spuller, Paris.
Colonel Spuller, Paris, the sitter's son, by descent from the above.
Mme Leroy Depuech, Orleans.
Mme R. Richard, Deauville.
E. J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam (no. 1224x), by 1954.
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London.
Mr & Mrs Norton Simon, Los Angeles; their sale, Sotheby's, New York, 5 May 1971, lot 43.
Reed Erickson, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 1 November 1978, lot 10.
Krishna Foundation, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Anonymous sale, Christies's, New York, 15 November 1983, lot 49.
Charles & Rose Wohlstetter, New York, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 8 November 2006, lot 116.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
B. Grimm, 'Lettres anecdotiques du Baron Grimm, Les Impressionnistes', in Le Figaro, Paris, 5 April 1877, p. 1.
Ch. Flor O'Squarr, 'Les Impressionnistes', in Le Courrier de France, Paris, 6 April 1877, p. 2.
G. Rivière, 'L'Exposition des impressionnistes', in L'Impressionniste, Paris, 6 April 1877, pp. 2-6.
L. Leroy, 'L'Exposition des impressionnistes', in Le Charivari, 11 April 1877, p. 2.
Jacques, 'Menus propos, Exposition impressionniste', in L'Homme libre, Paris, 12 April 1877, p. 2.
P. Burty, 'L'Exposition des Impressionnistes', in La République française, Paris, 25 April 1877, p. 1.
C. Bigot, 'Causerie artistique, L'Exposition des 'impressionnistes'', in La Revue politique et littéraire, Paris, 28 April 1877, pp. 1045-1048.
L. Venturi, Les Archives de l'Impressionnisme, vol. II, Paris, 1939, p. 261.
F. Daulte, Auguste Renoir, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. I, Lausanne, 1971, no. 71 (illustrated n.p.).
N. Wadley, Renoir, A Retrospective, London, 1987 (illustrated p. 110).
R. Berson, The New Painting, Impressionism 1874-1886, Documentation, vol. II, San Francisco, 1996, no. III-192 (illustrated p. 101).
C.B. Bailey, Renoir's Portraits, Impressions of an Age, exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1996, p. 290 (illustrated fig. 167).
G.-P. & M. Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins, et aquarelles, vol I, 1858-1881, Paris, 2007, no. 545 (illustrated p. 533).
Paris, Troisième Exposition des Impressionnistes, 1877, no. 192.
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Portraits des écrivains et journalistes de 1792 à 1893, June 1893, no. 832.
New York, Wildenstein & Co. Inc., Renoir, March - April 1950, no. 55.
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Célébrités françaises, 1954, no. 155.
Sale room notice
Please note the following additional exhibition reference:
Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Renoir, La maturità tra classico e moderno, March - June 2008, no. 1 (illustrated p. 125).

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Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the forthcoming Renoir catalogue critique being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute and established from the archive funds of François Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein.

Between 1876 and 1879, the patronage of Georges and Marguerite Charpentier was crucial in establishing Renoir's artistic and commercial success as a portraitist. Madame Charpentier hosted a celebrated salon in the rue de Grenelle, to which Renoir was a welcome and frequent guest, and where he secured some of his most successful portrait commissions, including the present portrait of Jacques-Eugène Spuller. Spuller was a close friend of Léon Gambetta and had collaborated with him in founding the Revue politique in 1868, before acting as his lieutenant during the siege of Paris in 1870. During the 1870s he was the editor of the République française, one of the most influential newspapers in France. He would later take up the post of minister of foreign affairs during Gambetta's ministry 1881-1882, and in 1884, represented the French Cabinet in the formal presentation of the Statue of Liberty to the United States.

It is a tribute to the importance of this early portrait that it was one of five paintings lent by Georges Charpentier to the third Impressionist exhibition of April 1877, along with portraits of Jeanne Samary, Mme Alphonse Daudet, and Mme Charpentier herself, the first of which is presently in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, and the latter two which are in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris (Dauberville nos. 462, 431 & 465). Painted and exhibited at the very beginning of the Impressionism, critics at the time were puzzled by the light and lively brushwork that define the movement, noting that 'The drawing of the features in the portrait of our friend Spuller lacks solidity'; however they approved of the way 'his expression is intense, the eyes think, the flesh is alive' (P. Burty, op. cit, p. 1).

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