Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Femme assise

Details
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Femme assise
signed 'Renoir' (upper right)
oil on canvas
11 1/8 x 8 ¾ in. (28.1 x 22.3 cm.)
Painted circa 1900
Provenance
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (acquired from the artist, November 1901).
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from the above, by 1920).
Sam Salz, New York and M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (jointly acquired from the above, November 1943).
Fred J. Allen, Pelham Manor, New York (acquired from the above, January 1944).
Mrs. Lawson Topping, New York.
Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York (October 1974).
Takashimaya Department Store, Osaka.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1979.
Exhibited
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paintings by Renoir, February 1920.
Sale room notice
This work will be included in the second supplement to the Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles de Renoir being prepared by Guy-Patrice and Floriane Dauberville.

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Lot Essay

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.
This work will be included in the second supplement to the Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles de Renoir being prepared by Guy-Patrice and Floriane Dauberville.
The pursuit of portraiture was central to Renoir's oeuvre, and it was through commissions by family, friends and patrons that he achieved financial success early in his career. Renoir began his formal studies in 1862 in the studio of the French painter Charles Gleyre, and it was there he met his future Impressionist contemporaries Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille and Claude Monet. Notwithstanding his intimate involvement with this renegade group and his participation in their exhibitions, Renoir maintained a deep reverence for the Old Masters. In 1881, he traveled to Florence to marvel at the figure painting of Titian, to Spain to view the portraiture of Diego Velázquez, and to Rome to wonder at the religious canvases of Raphael.
Though his early work was not exclusively dedicated to the systematic Impressionist experimentation with the effects of light, Renoir's portraiture was no less daring than the light-dappled landscapes of his contemporaries. Exploring the palpability of his subject, Renoir paid homage to the legacy of Peter Paul Rubens and Titian and became renowned within the group as a colorist. While early in his career the artist did engage in the pursuit of portrait commissions (though these depictions were always infused with his own sumptuous sensibility and adoration of rich color), as time progressed Renoir moved on to more anonymous treatments of primarily female figures, often engaged in quiet pursuits surrounded by lush landscapes. "I'm trying to fuse the landscape with my figures," he wrote to the dealer René Gimpel. "The old masters never attempted this" (quoted in J. House, Renoir, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 1985, p. 278).
By the early 1900s, Renoir had achieved great commercial success, primarily as a figure painter. Paul Durand-Ruel had first exhibited his work in New York in 1886, and the artist was highly acclaimed throughout Europe. He was now free to vigorously pursue treatment of the female form, a constant source of fascination and inspiration, outside the confines of strict portraiture.

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