Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Property from a Southwest Collection
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Coupe de fruits

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Coupe de fruits
signed 'Renoir.' (upper left)
oil on canvas
9 5/8 x 15 in. (24.6 x 39.3 cm.)
Painted circa 1897
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris.
Alexandre Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the above, November 1911).
Galerie Eugène Druet, Paris.
Private collection, Belgium; sale, Christie's, London, 30 June 1999, lot 157.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
G.-P. and M. Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, Paris, 2010, vol. III, p. 47, no. 1742 (illustrated).
Sale room notice
Please note that the present lot is displayed with a loaner frame for the exhibition, which is available for purchase.

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Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming Pierre-Auguste Renoir Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

In contrast to his contemporaneous portrait practice, in which the expectations of his well-heeled sitters often led him to adopt surprisingly traditional methods, still-life painting provided Renoir the welcome opportunity to improvise freely in his technique. He explained to Georges Rivière that painting still lifes “is a form of mental relaxation. I do not need the concentration that I need when I am faced with a model…I can experiment boldly with tones and values without worrying about destroying the whole painting. I would not dare to do that with a figure" (quoted in Renoir, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 1985, p. 183). It was often in the medium of still life that Renoir pursued his investigation and experimentation of the changing effect of light, tone and color on objects.
As much as Renoir was deeply inspired by the still-lifes of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, a later generation of modernist painters would find inspiration in Renoir, as seen in the comments by the American artist Marsden Hartley in a letter he wrote to Kenneth Hayes Miller in 1920: “I think of Renoir as a great painter of fruit. It always seems like the journey through the sensuous orchard of the aesthetic sound in Renoir. His flesh is eatable—and his vistas and still lifes so strokable” (quoted in B. Weber, The Heart of the Matter, The Still Lifes of Marsden Hartley, exh. cat., Berry Hill Galleries, New York, 2003, p. 15). In the present painting, Renoir depicts a well-balanced scene of delectable apples and oranges overflowing from a white scalloped dish. The short, feathery brushstrokes he used to build up the forms of the fruit perfectly demonstrate Hartley’s perspective.

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