Director at DICKINSON , James Roundell, looks into the history and provenance of one of the gallery's centerpiece coming to TEFAF Maastricht this month.

As one of the five great masters of Impressionism, established in the early 1870's and developed into the late 1870's and 1880's, Renoir turned to the river Seine for inspiration outside of Paris. The river offered escapism away from the city and was popular with the new middle-classes as a place to sail on or picnic by.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Au Bord de l’Eau, 1885 Image via DICKINSON Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Au Bord de l’Eau, 1885 Image via DICKINSON

Impressionism in the early 1870's depicted elegant figures, with each individual brushstroke representing light bouncing on an object. Renoir went on to develop this, in the mature phase of Impressionism, his works are richer, a tapestry of colors and textures.

The provenance of this painting is most impressive. Art dealers were extremely important to the Impressionists. Both Ambroise Vollard and Paul Durand-Ruel owned this painting and it was later bought by New York artists Frank and Alice Osborn. Following Frank's death, Alice donated the work to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where it was on display for 25 years before being de-accessioned in 1993, when funds were sought by the Museum for acquisitions. It now comes to the market for the first time since the current owner purchased it. This piece presents an extremely exciting opportunity for the market, in recent years, Renoir's work of the mid-1880's has not been on the market as much as his later works.

In this stunning video, Dr. Molly Dorkin, resident scholar and Associate Director at DICKINSON , explore's Robert Delaunay's towering work of Orphism.

From 1909 to 1914, the Eiffel Tower was a great source of inspiration for Robert Delaunay. Whilst the Impressionists of the time were exploring rural landscapes, Delaunay was looking to the urban. In 1909, he created one of his earliest studies of the Tower, an oil work which he painted for his fiancé Sonia Terk.

Robert Delaunay, La Ville de Paris, la Femme et la Tour Eiffel, 1925 Image via DICKINSON Robert Delaunay, La Ville de Paris, la Femme et la Tour Eiffel, 1925 Image via DICKINSON

After Robert's death in 1941, Sonia kept the work in her possession. Photographs can be found of Sonia working in her studio with the painting in the background. At four and a half metres tall, it is one of Delaunay's largest paintings of the Eiffel Tower.

DICKINSON will be at TEFAF, Maastricht from 11th-20th March, 2016, at Stand 402. Check out more information here.

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