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Portrait de Cézanne
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Portrait de Cézanne
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About the item

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait de Cézanne\nSigned Renoir. and dated 80 (upper left)\nPastel on paper\n21 1/8 by 17 1/8 in.\n53.7 by 43.5 cm\nExecuted in 1880.
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NY, US
US

notes

Renoir executed this magnificent portrait of fellow artist Paul Cézanne in 1880, about two decades after the two had met while studying at the Académie Suisse in Paris. This portrait marks the beginning of a period of close friendship between the two artists. As John Rewald explains, "Cézanne's relations with Renoir were particularly close throughout the 1880s. Early in 1882, the two friends met in L'Estaque and worked there together. At the end of the following year, Renoir and Monet, having gone to Genoa, stopped on their return in L'Estaque for a short visit with Cézanne. During the summer of 1885, Cézanne, Hortense Fiquet, and their son spent a month with Renoir and his family at La Roche-Guyon. Four years later, the Renoirs came to Aix, renting a property owned by Cézanne's brother-in-law, where the two worked once more together" (Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, op. cit., p. 302).

Renoir himself wrote about their comraderie in a letter to Victor Chocquet, an early patron for the artist and the first owner of the current work: "I've just been sick and I'm convalescing. I can't tell you how kind Cézanne has been to me. He wanted to bring me his whole house. With his mother, we are having a big dinner party at his place for our separation because he is going back to Paris while I have to stay somewhere in the South: strict Doctor's orders" (quoted in Barbara Ehrlich White, Renoir; His Life, Art, and Letters, op. cit., p. 121).

Choquet played a vital role in championing the careers of both artists. Renoir had first introduced Chocquet to Cézanne's works during a visit to the atrists' shop of Père Tanguy in 1875, where the collector immediately bought a canvas and went on to become one of the most devoted collectors of Cézanne's work. Both Renoir and Cézanne painted Chocquet's portrait at various times in the late 1870s (fig. 2). Portrait de Cézanne remained in Chocquet's collection until his death; after the death of his wife in 1899, his collection was sold at the Hôtel Drouot at which time it contained thirty-two works by Cézanne and eleven by Renoir.

At some point shortly following its execution, this work became the basis for a self-portrait by Cézanne that followed the composition of the pastel quite faithfully (fig. 1). John Rewald posits three possibilites for the execution of Cézanne's self-portrait. "It appears most likely that Cézanne obtained the pastel directly from Renoir... Cézanne could have taken the pastel to Pontoise, where he may have made the copy. This would explain why the copy first belonged to Camille Pissarro... Yet it is conceivable that Renoir drew the likeness specifically for Victor Chocquet, of whose collection it was part. Strangely enough, Chocquet did not own a single self-portrait by Cézanne; he may well have commissioned this pastel as he commissioned other works. In that case Cézanne may have copied it in 1882 at Hattenville.... It seems more logical to presume that after trading the pastel with Renoir, copying it in Pontoise, and offering the copy to Pissarro, Cézanne presented Renoir's orginal to Chocquet precisely because the latter was anxious to obtain one of his self-portraits" (Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, op. cit., p. 302).

Renoir also continued to draw inspiration from his portrait. He used Portrait de Cézanne in two later works, a lithograph in 1902 and a portrait medallion surrounded by a garland of flowers and fruit executed with the assistance of Richard Guino between 1915 and 1917, which now adorns a small fountain in Aix-en-Provence.

medium

Pastel on paper

creator

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

exhibited

Paris, Durand-Ruel, Exposition des oeuvres de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883, no. 69

dimensions

21 1/8 by 17 1/8 in. 53.7 by 43.5 cm

literature

Wynford Dewhurst, Impressionist Painting, Its Genesis and Development, London, 1904, illustrated p. 52

Jules Meier-Graefe, Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1912, illustrated pl. 102

Ambroise Vollard, Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, vol.1, Paris, 1918, no. 336, illustrated p. 84

Ambroise Vollard, "Le Salon de Madame Charpentier," in L'Art et les Artistes, Paris, 1920, no. IV, illustrated p. 164

Georges Rivière, Renoir et ses amis, Paris, 1921, illustrated p. 39

Albert André, Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1928, illustrated pl. 13

Georges Rivière, "Les Enfants dans l'oeuvre et dans le vie de Paul Cézanne et de Renoir," L'Art Vivant, Paris, 1928, illustrated p. 675

Jules Meier-Graefe, Renoir, Leipzig, 1929, illustrated p. 140

Georges Grappe, L'Art Vivant, Paris, July 1933, illustrated p. 280

Claude Roger-Marx, Renoir, Paris, 1933, illustrated p. 83

Charles Terrasse, Cinquante Portraits de Renoir, Paris, 1941, illustrated pl. 20

John Rewald, ed., Renoir Drawings, New York, 1946, illustrated fig. 12

François Daulte, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Watercolours, Pastels and Drawings, London, 1959, illustrated pl. 2

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism, London, 1973, illustrated p. 475

Barbara Ehrlich White, Renoir; His Life, Art, and Letters, New York, 1984, illustrated p. 102

François Fosca, Renoir, Paris, 1985, illustrated p. 150

John Rewald, Studies in Impressionism, New York, 1985, illustrated p. 173

John Rewald, Cézanne, A Biography, New York, 1986, illustrated p. 125

Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side by Side, New York, 1996, discussed p. 269

John Rewald, The Paintings of Paul Cézanne, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New York, 1996, illustrated p. 302

Guy Patrice & Michel Dauberville, Renoir, Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. 1, Paris, 2007, no. 617, illustrated p. 589

Nicholas Wadley, ed., Renoir, A Retrospective, New York, 1987, illustrated p. 340

Albert Kostenevich, Hidden Treasures Revealed; Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, New York, 1995, illustrated p. 192

provenance

Victor Chocquet, Paris (acquired from the artist and sold from the estate: Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, July 1-4,1899, no. 152)

Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York (acquired at the above sale)

Martin Ryerson, Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago (acquired from the above in 1927)

Durand-Ruel, New York (acquired from the above in 1945)

Sam Salz, New York

Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block, Chicago (acquired in 1949)

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ittleson, Jr., New York (acquired by 1955)

Acquavella Galleries, New York

Mr. and Mrs. Josef Rosensaft, New York (acquired from the above in 1974 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, March 17, 1976, lot 8)

Private Collection, London (acquired at the above sale)

British Rail Pension Fund, London (sold: Sotheby's, London, April 4, 1989, lot 16)

Private Collection, London (sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 16, 1998, lot 44)

Acquired at the above sale


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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