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.
La leçon d'écriture was painted in the mid 1890s, a pivotal decade for Renoir in which he consolidated his artistic position in Paris. These were the years in which he strengthened a personal and professional relationship with the French dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who handled this painting, which proved so fundamental to the painter's career.
In September of 1890, Renoir and his family moved to the Château des Brouillards at 13 rue Giradon in Montmartre. The house had two upper floors, and an attic which had been transformed into a studio for the artist. It was located not far from such popular Montmartre cafés and dance halls as the Moulin de la Galette, and boasted a garden overgrown with flowers and distant views into the countryside. The Château was 'a little paradise of lilacs and roses', as Jean Renoir recalled where Renoir painted prolifically. As Jean explained, 'the place inspired him'. (J. Renoir, Renoir My Father, London, 1962, p. 247).
La leçon d'écriture was handled by four of the most important dealers of the twentieth century, Durand-Ruel, Bernheim-Jeune, Paul Rosenberg and Sam Salz, who more recently sold it to Jerome K. Ohrbach who assembled a significant collection of Impressionist pictures in the 1950s and 1960s, including works by Boudin, Sisley, Signac, Bonnard, and Vlaminck.