Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ‘Esquisse de Paysage (Landscape Sketch)’, ca. 1910,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ‘Esquisse de Paysage (Landscape Sketch)’, ca. 1910,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ‘Esquisse de Paysage (Landscape Sketch)’, ca. 1910,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ‘Esquisse de Paysage (Landscape Sketch)’, ca. 1910,  M.S. Rau Antiques

This captivating landscape is exemplary of the mature style of the legendary Pierre-Auguste Renoir. With its vivid color and fluid brushstrokes, Esquisse de Paysage (Landscape Sketch) reveals the Impressionist master's obsession with the ephemerality of nature. A symphony of the vibrant greens, pale blues, and warm yellows, the work embodies the fresh spontaneity of his finest plein air paintings and reveals the Impressionist legend’s mastery over light and atmosphere.

Swirling impastos and expressive brushwork imbue this scene with a sense of joyful impermanence, and his bold color palette stands as a testament to Renoir's appreciation for the lush French countryside. The subject is almost certainly Cagnes-sur-Mer, the picturesque village where Renoir spent the last years of his life. The majestic vantage points of this quaint suburb of Nice would prove to be of vital inspiration to the artist throughout the remainder of his career. It was, landscapes such as this, painted en plein air and infused with light, that are considered the keystone of his entire oeuvre. Capturing his most fleeting impressions in each and every brush stroke, Renoir’s landscapes forever changed the very nature of art.

Born in Limoges, France in 1841, Renoir began his career as an apprentice to a painter of porcelain wares. He later moved to Paris at the age of 21, enrolling at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts. It was here, while studying under Charles Gleyre, that Renoir attained a tremendous appreciation for the academic style of painting, a quality that would last throughout his career. This was also the time during which he met Claude Monet and several other classmates, with whom he would later form the Impressionists.

Working closely with Monet, Renoir began experimenting with the portrayal of light and its effect on his canvases. The youngest member of the Impressionist movement, an astute Renoir recognized how a subject was constantly changing due to the dynamic effects of light on color. Relying heavily upon his academic training that focused upon composition, lines and descriptive details, Renoir distinguished himself among his contemporaries. His intuitive use of color and expansive brushstroke, along with an acute attention to his subject, have placed him among the finest painters in history.

This work is pictured on page 190 of Renoir: Catalogue Raisonné des Tableaux, Pastels, Dessins et Aquarelles 1903-1910, 2012, by Guy-Patrice & M. Dauberville, as no. 3001, and is illustrated in L'Atelier de Renoir, 1931, by M. Elder, as no. 418, plate 135.

Canvas: 9 1/4" high x 18 1/4" wide
Frame: 16 7/8" high x 25 3/4" wide

Signature: Stamp signed “Renoir” (lower left)

This work is pictured on page 190 of Renoir: Catalogue Raisonné des Tableaux, Pastels, Dessins et Aquarelles 1903-1910, 2012, by Guy-Patrice & M. Dauberville, as no. 3001, and is illustrated in L'Atelier de Renoir, 1931, by M. Elder, as no. 418, plate 135.

The artist’s studio, until 1919
Antig collection, Paris, 1946
Private collection, London
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

About Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Best known for portraiture, figurative work, and his series of voluptuous bathing women, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among the first group of French Impressionist painters. In the 1860s, he painted en plein air with Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley in the forest of Fontainebleau. Rejecting traditional methods of building paintings with layers of thin glazes, the Impressionists worked spontaneously to capture the fleeting effects of light using bright pigments, large brushstrokes, and thick impasto. By the late 1870s, dissatisfied with the spontaneity of Impressionism, Renoir moved toward a more traditional, less experimental approach. By the 1890s, Renoir’s paintings recall the rich color of Titian and Rubens and the sensual beauty of 18th-century French art. Renoir was celebrated in the early 20th century as one of the greatest modern French painters.

French, 1841-1919, Limoges, France, based in Paris, France

Solo Shows on Artsy

2016
RENOIR ET SES AMIS, HELENE BAILLY GALLERY, Paris

Group Shows on Artsy

2017
2017
2016
d'Orsay & d'Orsay, Galerie d'Orsay, Boston
2016
The Age of Rodin, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City
2016
Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art, The National Gallery, London, London
2015
Inventing Impressionism, The National Gallery, London, London
2011
The Age of Rodin, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City