Stamped with initials upper right
Oil on canvas
5 5/8 x 7 in, 13.5 x 18.5 cm
Unlike his Impressionist contemporaries, Pierre-Auguste Renoir had shown little interest in painting still lifes at the beginning of his career. From the early 1880s onwards, however, it began to occupy...
Unlike his Impressionist contemporaries, Pierre-Auguste Renoir had shown little interest in painting still lifes at the beginning of his career. From the early 1880s onwards, however, it began to occupy an increasing position of importance in his output due to their experimental possibilities and financial security. Renoir’s interest in still lifes was also propounded by his blossoming friendship with Paul Cézanne, whose fascination with the subject allowed him to toy with perspective and visual sensation over repeated studies.
‘Poire’, is a fascinating example of Renoir and Cézanne’s shared attempt to capture the eternal and solid in nature and their reaction to the principles of Impressionism. The two artists spent much time together over the summer of 1888 when Renoir stayed in Aix-en-Provence to paint Mont Sainte-Victoire, the basis of one of Cézanne’s most celebrated series of landscapes, together. In Renoir’s work during this period, he began to exercise his autonomy from Impressionism with a bolder, more saturated colour palette, evocative of Cézanne’s influence.
It was also in these still life compositions that Renoir pursued some of his most probing investigations of the effects of light and colour on objects and surfaces. Renoir told his biographer and fellow artist, Albert André, that it was in his small scale still lifes such as the present work that "he put the whole of himself, that he took every risk". This experimentation is evident in the broad, rich brush strokes and soft light that highlight the shape of the fruit in ‘Poire’.
Private collection, Switzerland
Ernst Farber collection, Munich
Private collection, France
This work is to be included in the 'Catalogue critique du peintre Pierre-Auguste Renoir', currently being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute. This work is accompanied by a certificate issued by the Wildenstein Institute dated 7 July 2002.