French, 1841-1919

Arbres Devant La Maison, 1908

oil on canvas
initialed lower right "R."
7 1/2 x 6 1/3 inches

  • Provenance: Wally Findlay Galleries, New York, New York; Christie's, New York, New York, November 15, 1989, lot 391; Private Collection, New Jersey
  • Literature: A. Vollard, "Tableaux, Pastels et Dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir", Paris, 1918, vol. II, p. 78 (illustrated).

    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.

    Framed dimensions: 16 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 3 inches

    "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things the world."

    A leading figure in the French Impressionist movement, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is a celebrated
    colorist with an eye for capturing light and shadow. He was a close friend of Claude Monet and the
    two artists often worked alongside each other. His works inspired later movements of modernism
    including Fauvism and Cubism.

    Renoir was born in Limoges to a working class family. In his teen years he worked as a painter in
    one of the town's porcelain factories. The son of a tailor and a seamstress, he developed an eye
    for decorative trimmings and painted pictures, fans and decorative objects for wealthy clientele.

    In 1860, the young artist started making regular visits to the Louvre in Paris to study the works
    of French Rococo masters including Jean- Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Francois Boucher and Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix. In these artists he admired the commonalities of loose, soft handling of paint, a focus on color and movement rather than form and texture that allowed each individual brushstroke to show through.

    In 1862 he began formal training under Charles Gleyre who also instructed Claude Monet, Alfred
    Sisley and Frederic Bazille. As part of their training the group traveled to the forest of
    Fontainebleau to paint en plein air. Unlike his peers, Renoir preferred to paint in his studio
    although he often returned to Fontainebleau as a source of inspiration.

    During the summer of 1869, Renoir and Monet famously painted at La Grenouillere, a lakeside boating resort outside Paris. It was here that the seeds of early Impressionism first appeared. The artists both begin to use broad brush strokes and capture momentary scenes such as the movement of light across the water.

    After facing rejection from the Salon, Renoir and his artist friends begin planning an independent
    exhibition of their own free from the constraints of the academic Salon. In 1874, the group
    exhibited together in the first Impressionist show. This brought him regular commissions and
    financial independence.

    By 1880, he had moved away from the Impressionist group returning to more classical ideas. It was between 1880-1881 that he painted his iconic Luncheon of the Boating Party. He then went to Italy, Spain and England studying works of the Rococo and Late Renaissance periods.

    In the current example, he used his impressionist technique in the trees to create a visual screen
    to integrate the foreground and the background. The warmth and color invite the viewer into the

    Renoir died in his home at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in 1919 surrounded by his family. By the time of his
    death, several of his works were hanging in the Louvre alongside those of the French masters he once studied.

    Tags: oil painting, European, French Impressionist, Impressionism, France, listed artist
  • Condition: in very good overall condition; unlined canvas; scattered craquelure in the right tree; recommend a light cleaning

    We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. 

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