These works will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné from François Daulte being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute. The images published will be those from the Vollard Photographic archive.
These two large sanguine drawings were executed at a time when Renoir was just discovering Cagnes-sur-Mer in the South of France, a village where he would eventually settle in 1907.
This pair of drawings are appealing as they illustrate Renoir's continued explorations of Impressionism, his love of contemporary subject matter, as well as his profound awareness of the classical painterly tradition. The medium itself - sanguine and white chalk - echoes the work of the Académie. The format of these works, framed in garlands, bring to mind the traditional decorative panels of the 18th century French chateu. However, with his usual mastery, Renoir infuses these figures with voluptuousness. Like the landscapes he was working on at the time in Cagnes, these young women convey the fertility and abundance of natue as well as a confident joie de vivre engaged as they are in the simple daily activities of country life.
It is important to note, however, that at some point certain elements in these works were modified either by the artist or by another hand. These modifications are clearly seen when the works, in their present state, are compared to the photographs taken of them whilst in the artist's studio, by Renoir's dealer Ambroise Vollard (Vollard Phtogrpahic Arvhive).
In the Cueillette, the tree, the branch, and the garland were added at a later date. The traits of the young woman and her clothing were also clearly reinforced. In Femme et Enfant, at the lower right, there was originally the sketchy outline of a group of three children of which only one remains and whose traits were also darkened or reinforced. The young woman, however, was not touched. It is impossible to say whether these modifications were done by the artist himself. What is certain, however, is that they do not impede Renoir's original intentions and can be considered as merely cosmetic.