This painting will be included in the forthcoming Renoir catalogue critique being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute and established from the archive funds of François Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein.
We are grateful to Guy-Patrice and Michel Dauberville for confirming that this picture is included in their Bernheim-Jeune archives as an authentic work.
In the early summer of 1907, at the same time as entreaties were being made to the authorities in Paris to make Renoir an Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, the artist purchased Les Collettes, an estate at Cagnes on the Mediterranean coast just west of Nice. Over the next fifteen months, Renoir had a new house built for his family on the estate, leaving the old farmhouse in which the previous occupant had lived untouched in an attempt to preserve the rural character of the property.
The estate was to become one of the principal motifs of Renoir's landscapes and, as in the present work, he often used the farmhouse as the focus of his compositions. Comparisons have been drawn with Monet's affinity in his later career with his gardens at Giverny, although Renoir's conception of Les Collettes was of a less cultivated and more 'human' landscape. This spirit is embraced by La ferme des Collettes, Cagnes, with the central motif of the farmhouse nestling within the trees and shrubbery, as well as the figure in the foreground - perhaps one of the gardeners who, according to Georges Rivière, were told by the master not to cut the grass that grew through the paths on the estate.