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Femme nue couchée soutenant des fruits
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About the item

The 1880s mark a period in which Renoir returned repeatedly to the subject of the female nude in a landscape. Painted in 1888, Femme nue couchée soutenant des fruits was created at the pinnacle of his achievements in this style. More than any other avant-garde painter of the late nineteenth century, aside from Degas, Renoir focused his energy on the subject of the female nude, and the results he achieved were both unique and striking. The development of Renoir's style in depicting his nudes draws from both his early experience as an Impressionist painter and the influence of a trip he took to Italy in 1881, when he went to see works by Raphael and other Renaissance masters. Renoir's approach to this subject underwent a series of transformations in the 1870s and 1880s, creating an aesthetic that would become the epitome of Renoir's art.\nWhen Renoir began painting with other Impressionist artists, he favored quick, loose brushstrokes, illustrating the effects of plein-air painting and natural light. During the 1880s, Renoir began to stray from his emphasis of color over line after seeing the precision of forms and subtle light coloration in the works of the Renaissance masters and the palette of the French Rococo artists. Emile Verhaeren, a contemporary poet and art critic of Renoir, summed up the artist's paintings of this period and highlights the quality of Renoir's stylistic details illustrated in the present work. Verhaeren writes, "Here... is an utterly new vision, a quite unexpected interpretation of reality to solicit our imagination.  Nothing is fresher, more alive and pulsating with blood and sexuality, than these bodies and faces as he portrays them.  Where have they come from, those light and vibrating tones that caress arms, necks, and shoulders, and give a sensation of soft flesh and porousness?  The backgrounds are suffusions of air and light; they are vague because they must not distract us" (quoted in G. Muesham, ed., French Painters and Paintings from the Fourteenth Century to Post-Impressionism: A Library of Art Criticism, New York, 1970, pp. 511-12).\nThe greatest manifestation of this technique is seen in Renoir's Les Grandes baigneuses of 1887. Renoir began to exchange the immediacy of scenes of everyday life with the permanence of more traditional subject matter, as well as the influence of classical painting techniques. Femme nue couchée soutenant des fruits is likely related to the aforementioned 1887 painting, as well as a bold representation of the developing style that would govern Renoir's art in years to come.\nJohn House writes the following on Renoir's fascination with the subject of the female nude in outdoor settings: "On his travels Renoir painted many landscapes and informal outdoor subjects, but his more serious efforts were reserved for themes which tread the borderline between everyday life and idyll-themes with obvious echoes of eighteenth century art.  He painted a long series of nudes, mainly young girls in outdoor settings, whom in a letter he called his 'nymphs.'  Mainly single figures at first, he brought them together in groups around 1897 in several pictures of girls playing which translate the subject of the 1887 Bathers into a fluent informality very reminiscent of Fragonard's Bathers (Musée du Louvre, Paris)" (John House, Renoir (exhibition catalogue), London, The Hayward Gallery, 1985, pp. 250-51).\nAccording to the 1967 Japanese exhibition catalogue, this magnificent picture may have belonged to Comte Isaac de Camondo (1851-1911), a member of a prominent Jewish family of financiers and philanthropists based primarily in Turkey.  Isaac, who relocated to Paris, was primarily known as an art collector, banker and composer, and the majority of his collection was bequeathed to the Louvre upon his death.\nSigned Renoir (lower right)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

condition

Very good condition. The work has an old lining. Under UV light, there is one spot of retouching to the figure between her shoulder blades. The paint surface is stable, and colors are fresh. In response to your inquiry, 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 Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

23 1/8 by 59 1/2 in.

exhibition

Paris, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Art moderne, 1915, no. 136 Montreal, Galerie Hervé, Renoir, 1967, no. 5, illustrated in the catalogue Tokyo, Matsuzakaya Ueno; Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum; Osaka, Matsuzakaya Tenma; Shizuoka, Matsuzakaya & Fukuoka Prefectural Cultural Center Museum, Renoir, 1967, no. 10, illustrated in color the catalogue

literature

Julius Meier-Graefe, Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1912, illustrated p. 67 Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Peirre-Auguste Renoir, vol. II, Paris, 1918, illustrated p. 144 François Daulte, Renoir, Figures (1860-1890), Lausanne, 1971, no. 556, illustrated Ambroise Vollard, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paintings, Pastels and Drawings, San Francisco, 1989, no. 1514, illustrated p. 312 Guy Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, 1882-1894, vol. II, Paris, 2009, no. 1348, illustrated p. 413

provenance

(possibly) Comte Isaac de Camondo, Paris Ambroise Vollard, Paris De Galea, Paris (acquired from the above) Galerie Hervé, Montreal Private Collection Acquired from the above in the 1980s

signedDate

Signed Renoir (lower right)

time_period

Painted in 1888.

creator_nationality_dates

1841-1919





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