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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
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PROPERTY FROM THE HERMANN AND ELSE SCHNABEL COLLECTION The following lot comes from the collection of Hermann and Else Schnabel, renowned Hamburg based collectors and philanthropists. Hermann was one of the most successful German businessmen of the Post-War era, having acquired a small trading company in 1949 and growing it into the world's largest independent chemical retailer. Great believers in philanthropy, Hermann and Else have been huge supporters of cultural projects in their home city, including, of course, the Hamburger Kunsthalle. The Schnabels are great collectors of Impressionist art, and were regular attendees of the gala evening sales at Christie’s New York through the 1980s and 1990s; always attired in black tie, Hermann would bid with a great sense of theater and determination. Their collection was always a source of great pleasure for them, as well as a testament to the connoisseurship and keen eye of both Else and Hermann.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Le petit peintre (Claude Renoir)

Details
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Le petit peintre (Claude Renoir)
stamped with signature 'Renoir.' (Lugt 2137b; lower right)
oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 18 1/8 in. (55 x 46 cm.)
Painted in 1907
Provenance
Estate of the artist.
Jean Renoir, Paris (son of the artist).
Etienne Vautheret, Lyon; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 16 June 1933, lot 18.
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired at the above sale).
Charles and Anne Parrish Corliss, New York (acquired from the above, April 1935).
Josaiah and Anne Parrish Titzell, Georgetown, Connecticut.
Dr. Harold and Isabel Bishop Wolff, Washington, D.C.; Estate sale, Sotheby's, New York, 10 May 1988, lot 17.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
O. Mirbeau, Renoir, Paris, 1913, p. 56 (illustrated).
A. Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1918, vol. I, p. 146, no. 580 (illustrated; dated 1905).
G. Rivière, Renoir et ses amis, Paris, 1921, p. 240 (illustrated).
A. Vollard, Auguste Renoir, Berlin, 1924, pp. 210-211 (illustrated).
G. Coquiot, Renoir, Paris, 1925, p. 233.
J. Meier-Graefe, Renoir, Leipzig, 1929, pp. 282 and 446, no. 332 (illustrated, p. 282; dated circa 1909 and titled Claude vor der Staffelei; with inverted dimensions).
Bernheim-Jeune, ed., L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, vol. I, no. 332 (illustrated, pl. 103).
J. Renoir, Mein Vater Auguste Renoir, Zurich, 1981, no. 25 (illustrated).
D. Rouart, Renoir, New York, 1985, p. 92 (illustrated).
D. Fell, Renoir's Garden, London, 1991, p. 80 (illustrated).
G.-P. and M. Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, 1903-1910, Paris, 2012, vol. IV, pp. 446-447, no. 3443 (illustrated, p. 447).
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Exposition d'Art Moderne, 1915, no. 135.
Berlin, Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Renoir, November-December 1927, no. 22 (dated circa 1910 and titled Claude beim Malen).
Art Gallery of Toronto, Paintings by Renoir and Degas, October 1934, no. 22 (illustrated).
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Masterpieces by Renoir, March 1935, no. 15.
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renoir: A Special Exhibition of His Paintings, May-September 1937, no. 58 (illustrated; dated circa 1906 and titled Claude at the Easel).
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Portraits by Renoir, March-April 1939, no. 18.
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 20th Century Portraits, December 1942-January 1943, pp. 38 and 142 (illustrated, p. 38; dated 1906 and titled Claude Renoir Painting).
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, The Artist's Family, 1952.
Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1958-1959 (on extended loan).
Kunsthalle Tübingen, Renoir, January-May 1996, pp. 290-292, no. 97 (illustrated in color, p. 291; titled Bildnis des Claude Renoir beim Malen).

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Lot Essay

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

“Never did he [Renoir] seem to have experienced so much joy as when watching the young child learning through play, filled with light and milk, his rounded contours, his enthusiasms and laughter” -Claude Roger-Marx, 1937
Renoir’s youngest son Claude was born on 4 August 1901, when the artist was already sixty years old. Having another child at this stage of his life brought him great joy and inspiration, and he deeply cherished his third son, openly doting upon the boy and devoting hours of labor to capturing his cherubic likeness. He looked upon his infant son’s health and growth as an affirmation of youth and life, for Renoir was now suffering from the ailments of old age.
The family lovingly nicknamed their youngest son Cloclo, which later became Coco. Almost immediately, he became Renoir’s favorite model, replacing his elder brother Jean. As Jean Renoir recalled: "It was while we were living in the rue Caulaincourt that my father had me pose for him most often. A few years later my brother Claude, who was seven years younger than I, was to take my place in the studio. Coco certainly proved one of the most prolific inspirations my father ever had" (Renoir, My Father, New York, 1958, p. 364).
In the present work, Claude is captured while painting at an easel, seemingly unaware of his viewers. The finished painting is an intimate work which instantly communicates Renoir’s fatherly affections towards his son. The rosy flush of Coco’s cheek is emphasized by the similar tone of his crimson lips and background, thus creating a wonderful overall sense of the child’s youthful vibrancy.

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