Jeune fille (L'Eté)
signed 'Renoir.' (upper right)
pastel on paper
18 5/8 x 23 7/8 in. (47.4 x 60.7 cm.)
Drawn circa 1880
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the artist, August 1895).
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from above).
Julius Oehme, New York (acquired from the above, August 1901).
Hugo Reisinger, New York (acquired from the above, 1906); Estate sale, American Art Association, New York, 18-20 January 1916, lot 61.
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie. and Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris (jointly acquired at the above sale).
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, February 1916).
Rose Duhamel Vildrac, Paris (acquired from the above, October 1917).
Galerie Thannhauser, Berlin (by 1928).
Alfredo Wolf, Buenos Aires (by 1947).
Henry J. Leir, Luxembourg; sale, Sotheby's, London, 27 June 1995, lot 5.
Acquired by Ann and Gordon Getty at the above sale.
S. Schwabacher, "Renoir," Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, no. 63, October 1928-March 1929 (illustrated, p. 314).
J. Meier-Graefe, Renoir, Leipzig, 1929, p. 110, no. 118 (illustrated).
Renoir: From Outsider to Old Master, 1870-1892, exh. cat., Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2001, p. 96 (illustrated, fig. 43; titled Woman with Straw Hat).
G.-P. and M. Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2007, vol. I, p. 604, no. 645 (illustrated, p. 605).
Kunsthaus Zürich, Französische des XIX und XX Jahrhunderts, October-November 1917, no. 182 (titled Femme au chapeau de paille).
Buenos Aires, Wildenstein & Co. Inc., Renoir, October 1947, no. 11 (illustrated; titled L'Eté).
Further details
This work will be included in the forthcoming Pierre-Auguste Renoir digital catalogue raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

Brought to you by

Joshua Glazer
Joshua Glazer Specialist, Head of Private Sales

Lot Essay

Renoir’s Jeune fille (L'Eté) is a pretty pastel fantasy: a plump brunette wears a breezy white chemise and a fashionable straw hat, festooned with a thick blue ribbon. This Impressionist goddess of summer, nestled in a flowering meadow, has adorned her hat with freshly plucked blooms. She leans towards the viewer with a sweet, languid look, her lips gently parted. The sensuality of her expression is underscored by the casual exposure of her bare shoulder, arms and décolleté. Renoir constructed this seductive figure and her surroundings with lively strokes of pastel, knitted together to form a polychromatic tapestry inspired by the very colors of nature: verdant green, sky blue, terracotta red and sunny yellow.
Like many of his fellow Impressionist painters, Renoir experimented with the medium of pastel throughout his career. Widely associated with 18th-century France, the medium became popular again in the late 19th-century, as pastel sets were manufactured and sold en masse. This new format enabled artists—like Renoir and his fellow Impressionists, including Edgar Degas and Berthe Morisot—to easily transport these sticks of color from their studios to the sea or countryside. The avant-garde painters prized this medium for its ability to quickly impart rich, saturated lines of color, in order to convey the fleeting effects of sun and shadow. These pastel lines could be blended to create the illusion of translucent water or air, or left unblended to stand for individual blades of grass.
Renoir was particularly adept in using pastel to capture the texture of fabric and flesh. Indeed, this substantial figure in Jeune fille (L’Eté) is a lively, fully embodied one—though the identity of the model remains obscure. As art historian François Daulte has written of Renoir’s pastel portraits, “If he frequently used that medium to depict those near and dear to him, it was because pastel, which combines colour with line, gave him the possibility of working rapidly to capture in all their vividness the rapid flash of intelligence and the fleeting show of emotion.” (Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Watercolours, Pastels, and Drawings in Colour, London, 1959, p.10). For nineteenth-century art critic Octave Mirbeau, Renoir’s talents were on full display when rendering the female figure, in particular: “He is truly the painter of women, alternatively gracious and moving, knowing and simple, and always elegant, with an exquisite visual sensibility...he also gives a sense of the form of the soul, all woman's inward musicality and bewitching mystery” (quoted in N. Wadley, ed., Renoir, A Retrospective, New York, 1987, p. 165).
About fifteen years after its execution, Jeune fille (L’Eté) was acquired by the renowned Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie. in Paris. In subsequent decades, this substantial sheet passed through the hands of several legendary dealers and collectors of Impressionism, including Julis Oehme and Huge Reisinger of New York and Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie. of Paris. In 1917, the pastel was acquired by Rose Duhamel Vildrac, the wife of the French poet and playwright Charles Vildrac. Nearly eighty years later, Ann and Gordon Getty incorporated this work into their own collection.

More from The Ann & Gordon Getty Collection: Volume 2 | Old Master, 19th and 20th Century Paintings, Day Sale

View All
View All