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Jean Renoir Lisant by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Jean Renoir Lisant by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

- Item No.

This painting of Jean engrossed in his book is both affectionate and engaging

Key Features

  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted this intimate portrait of his beloved son Jean in 1908
  • Renoir was Impressionism's most celebrated figure painter
  • This portrait of his son Jean is incredibly true to the boy's likeness
  • Jean was an accomplished child who went on to become a renowned filmmaker
  • Stamped signed Renoir (upper right)
  • Dated 1908
  • Canvas 17 1/4 high x 20 3/4 wide Frame 28 1/2 high x 32 3/4 wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C:20 3/4 F:32 3/4 Inches
  • Height:
    C:17 1/4 F:28 1/2 Inches
  • Period:
    20th Century
  • Origin:
  • Subject:
  • Artist:
    Renoir, Pierre-Auguste
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
1841-1919 French

Jean Renoir Lisant

Stamped signed 'Renoir' (upper right)
Oil on canvas

"In Renoir's figure painting, portraiture deserves a place unto itself. For no other artist has looked so deeply into his sitter's soul, nor captured its essence with such economy"
-George Rivière

Renoir painted this intimate portrait of his beloved son Jean in 1908 when the family was in the process of moving to "Les Collettes" near Cagnes-sur-Mer. Both affectionate and engaging, this painting of Jean engrossed in his book was executed with an honesty and sensuality that is characteristically Renoir. The artist's subjects are never made more beautiful than they are, but instead are captured candidly with luminous brushwork and attention to detail. The surface of the canvas glows with an inward light and the composition focuses on the figure without the distraction of a highly embellished interior.

As Impressionism's most celebrated figure painter, Renoir was occupied with portraiture at all stages of his career and the many examples of his practiced production embrace a variety of formats and media. This portrait of his son Jean, is incredibly true to the boy's likeness and was kept by the artist as an important and cherished memoir of Jean's boyhood. Jean was an accomplished child who went on to become a renowned filmaker directing such classics as The Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game. This portrait of the boy was considered so important that it stayed within the family long after Renoir's death.

Much of the work that bears Renoir's stamped signature does so simply because Renoir by his own account often did not sign works that he kept as his personal posessions, in his home or studio. These were some of the artist's most treasured pieces. The signature stamp would have been applied upon the sale of the item only when the painting left the possession of the family long after the artist's death.

There is much that makes this work attractive for the collector of 19th century art. Not only is the work done by a notable impressionist but it is a piece that records a personal moment of a father lovingly observing his son. This work is not only a masterpiece of impressionist art, it is also a well-loved piece of an adored child and a significant family heirloom of one of the finest painters of all time.

Bears Wildenstein Institute authenticity certificate

This work is included in volume III or subsequent volumes of the Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles de Renoir prepared by Guy-Patrice and Michel Dauberville and published by Bernheim-Jeune.

This work is included in the catalogue critique of Pierre-Auguste Renoir being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute, as established from the archives of Franois Daulte, Durand-Ruel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein.

Dated 1908

Canvas 17 1/4" high x 20 3/4" wide
Frame 28 1/2" high x 32 3/4" wide

Estate of the artist
Acquired by the family of the present owner, by 1967

New York, Stephen Hahn Gallery, Joys of Impressionism, October-November 1966 (illustrated)

Bernheim-Jeune, ed., L'Atelier de Renoir, Paris, 1931, p. 238, no. 362 (illustrated, pl. 114)


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