Bathers Renoir Analysis Essay

Portrait of Ambroise Vollard (1908)

Artwork description & Analysis: Ambroise Vollard was a dealer, friend, and supporter of Renoir's art in the later stages of the artist's career, even going so far as to publish a biography of the artist in 1925. Renoir celebrated their friendship by painting Vollard many times in many different guises. As a painting, Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, reveals Renoir's considerable abilities as a portraitist, through a delicately rendered image that at once touches upon the more recent artistic experiments of Paul Cézanne (multiple points of view) and Henri Matisse (large planes of color), while retaining Renoir's structure, coloration, and impressionistic application of paint. Moreover, he depicted Vollard as an intelligent connoisseur of art and an admirer of beauty who holds a small, classically inspired sculpted nude. This is particularly poignant in hindsight, as it was Vollard in 1913 who would suggest to the ailing, arthritic Renoir, for whom painting was becoming increasingly difficult, that he consider sculpting, going so far as to locate and provide for the aging artist a young, talented sculptor to help him achieve his designs. In 1908, then, despite his failing health, Portrait of Ambroise Vollard still shows Renoir capable of considerable artistic achievement.

Oil on canvas - The Courtauld Gallery, London

Provenance

(Ambroise Vollard [1867-1939], Paris); (Galerie Georges Petit, Paris).[1] Alexandre Berthier [1883-1918], 4th Prince de Wagram, Paris; sold probably by his heirs though (Canadeesche Hypothek Bank) through (Étienne Bignou, Paris) to (Alex Reid & Lefèvre, London); on joint account with (M. Knoedler & Co., London, New York and Paris) and (Marcel Kapferer); sold May 1929 through (Galerie Étienne Bignou, Paris) to Chester Dale [1882-1962], New York;[2] bequest 1963 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1931
Renoir and His Tradition, Museum of French Art, New York, 1931, no. 22, repro.
1965
The Chester Dale Bequest, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1965, unnumbered checklist.
Bibliography
1923
Régnier, Henri de. Renoir. Paris, 1923: repro. pl. 9.
1925
Coquiot, Gustave. Renoir. Paris, 1925: repro. p. 73
1925
Goulinart, J.-G. "Technique picturale: Les sources du métier de Renoir." L'Art vivant I, no. 7 (April 1, 1925): 22-24, repro.
1928
André, Albert. Renoir. Paris, 1928: repro. pl. 54
1928
Stein, Leo. A. Renoir 24 Phototypies. Les Albums d'art Druet XIII. Paris, 1928: plate 9.
1929
Meier-Graefe, Julius. Renoir. Leipzig, 1929: repro. p. 359, no. 285.
1931
Dale, Maud. "Auguste Renoir," Creative Art IX, no. 6 (December 1931):450-454, repro.
1931
Flint, Ralph. "Renoir and His Tradition Seen in Loan Exhibit." Art News 30 (November 28, 1931): 6, repro.
1938
Florisoone, Michel. Renior. Paris, 1938: repro. 133.
1941
Catalogue of French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 13, repro. pl. XXV
1941
Frankfurter, Alfred M. "Now the Great French 19th Century in the National Gallery." Art News 40, no. 17 (December 15-31, 1941):repro. p. 18
1942
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 65, repro.
1944
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1944: 65, repro.
1944
Frost, Rosamund. Pierre Auguste Renoir. New York, 1944:41, repro.
1952
Gaunt, William. Renoir. London, 1952: plate 69.
1953
Berr de Turique, Marcelle. Renoir. Paris, c. 1953: repro. plate 69.
1953
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1953: 75, repro.
1961
Fosca, François. Renoir, His Life and Work. London, 1961: repro. 205.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 324, repro.
1965
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Paintings & Sculpture of the French School in the Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 114, repro.
1965
Lambourne, Nigel. Renoir: paintings, drawings, lithographs and echings. London, 1965: repro. 27.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 112
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 101, repro.
1972
Fezzi, Elda. L'opera completa di Renoir nel period impressionista. Milan, 1972: no. 670.
1974
Fouchet, Max-Pol. Les Nus de Renoir. Paris and Lausanne, 1974:148, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 294, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 469, no. 685, color repro.
1984
White, Barbara Ehrlich. Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters. New York, 1984:repro. 197.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 339, repro.
1997
Kelder, Diane. The Great Book of French Impressionism, 1997, no. 235, repro.

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