Paysage, executed between 1910-1914 signed 'Renoir' (lower right) oil on canvas 24.1 x 40.6cm (9 1/2 x 16in).
Provenance Galerie Motte, Geneva Acquavella Galleries, New York Weintraub Gallery, New York Private Collection, UK
Exhibited Florida, The Lowe Art Museum 'The French Impressionist Influence in American Artists', March 19-April 25, 1971
In 1907 Renoir moved to the estate of Les Colettes in Cagnes, where he painted both Paysage and Paysage à Cagnes. Nestled amongst olive groves and orange trees, the landscape of Cagnes represented to Renoir a rural arcadia and provided the artist with the bright light and sensuous properties, which he relished and in whose atmosphere his painting thrived. Despite suffering from arthritis, both works resonate with Renoirs characteristic celebration of and passion for the world around him, the energy and spontaneity of which arguably derived from painting en plein air. Whether a sketch like Paysage or a fully worked up composition, Renoir seduced his viewers with soft feathery brushstrokes and lively use of rich warm colour deployed with apparent ease, indicative of Renoirs observation that I like to get friendly with painting, caress it. Indeed Renoirs confident and lyrical application of paint imbues both works with an immediacy, transporting the viewer to the South of France. However the intensity of colour used in Paysage à Cagnes was also stimulated by Renoirs trip to Algiers and by seeing Carpaccios frescoes in Venice during the 1880's.
The significance of Renoirs pure landscape paintings was documented by the National Gallerys exhibition Renoir Landscapes 1865-1883 held in 2007. However Renoirs own belief that landscape painting was the best genre through which a painter could develop, free from the constraints of the studio, demonstrates the vital contribution the two works illustrated here make to our understanding of Renoirs oeuvre.