This work is sold with a photo-certificate from Marguérite Duthuit dated Paris le 13/4/81.
It was towards the end of 1917, after his arrival in Nice in December, that Matisse first visited Pierre-Auguste Renoir in his home in Cagnes, not far from Nice. Matisse took a room at the hotel Beau Rivage and later recalled, 'I left L'Estaque because of the wind, and I had caught bronchitis there. I came to Nice to cure it, and it rained for a month. Finally I decided to leave. The next day the mistral chased the clouds away and it was beautiful. I decided not to leave Nice, and have stayed there practically the rest of my life' (cited in J. Cowart, Henri Matisse, The Early Years in Nice 1916-1930, Washington, 1986, p. 19).
Renoir and Matisse became close friends and Matisse would call fairly regularly on Renoir, mainly towards the end of the day. By that time, Renoir was 76 years old, crippled by arthritis and very much welcomed the visits of the younger artist. Dominated by a large sculpted Venus, Renoir's garden became the subject of various oil paintings and drawings. After Renoir's death in 1919, Matisse would still go back to the villa in Cagnes and paint in the garden.