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Spaightwood Galleries

120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193; 800-809-3343; email: sptwd@verizon.net

Updated 1-8-12
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Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919): Etchings and Lithographs of Children and Friends

Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings: Prints by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Charles Camoin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Edmond Cross, Edgar Degas, Sonia Delaunay, Maurice Denis, André Derain, Susanne Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Jean-Louis Forain, Paul Gauguin, Marie Laurencin, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Georges Rouault, Ker Xavier Roussel, Paul Signac, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice de Vlaminck, James A. McNeill Whistler, and others.
Drawings by Albert Besnard, Andre Barbier, Henri Edmond Cross, Jean-Louis Forain, Eva Gonzales, Marie Laurencin, Maximilien Luce, and Georges Rouault.
Hand-colored prints by Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Sonja Delaunay, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Impressionist Portraits

For a review of a 1999 show that concludes, "Art exhibits in Madison rarely get this good," click review.
Renoir was the first of the Impressionists to enjoy popular success and his prints were produced in recognition of that success. Stella lists 60 prints (25 etchings and 35 lithographs) in his catalogue of Renoir's prints. Michel Melot, The Impressionist Print notes that most of Renoir's prints were produced after he had became famous and represent an attempt to satisfy the demand for his works, almost 3/4 of them having been produced after 1900 for inclusion in books and portfolios produced by Theodore Duret, the chief chronicler of the Impressionists, and Ambroise Vollard, Renoir's dealer and a great lover of the art of printmaking. One of Renoir's subjects of choice was portraits of children and friends.

Select bibliography of print catalogues raisonne: Jean Leymarie et Michel Melot, Les Gravures Des Impressionistes, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley. Oeuvre complet (Paris, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, 1971); Claude Roger-Marx, Les Lithographies de Renoir (Monte Carlo: Andre Sauret, 1951); Joseph G. Stella, The Graphic Work of Renoir (London: Lund, Humphries, n.d.). On printmaking by the Impressionists, see Michel Melot, The Impressionist Print (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
Sur la plage, a Bernival (Stella 5 ii/iii). Original etching, c. 1892. From the first published edition in Theodore Duret's Les peintres impressionistes (Paris: Floury, 1919) before the plate was bevelled. The central image shows Julie Manet, Berthe Morisot's daughter, and her cousin watching bathers from the beach. A very good impression with plate tone and rich blacks. Signed in the plate. Image size: 135x92mm. Price: SOLD
Sur la plage, a Bernival (Stella 5 iii/iii). Original etching, c. 1892. A good impression with detail in the dark areas (like the hairs of both girls) before the plate was bevelled. The central image shows Julie Manet, Berthe Morisot's daughter, and her cousin Jeanne watching bathers from the beach. Signed in the plate lower right. Image size: 135x92mm. Price: $2500.
Le chapeau epinglé: La fille de Berthe Morisot et sa cousine. Premiere planche (Stella 6). Original etching, c. 1894. Only state. This portrait of Julie Manet (Berthe Morisot's daughter and Edouard Manet's niece) and her cousin Jeanne was published in Theodore Duret's Manet and the French Impressionists (London: G. Richards, 1910). There was also a later printing for the German edition published in Berlin in 1914. Ours is a very good impression from the 1910 edition (the first printing of Renoir's etching): all lines are crisp and clear; moreover the rich plate tone tells us that not many impressions had been pulled prior to this one. Signed in the plate lower right corner. An uncommon print in very good condition. Image size: 116x82mm Price: $5000.
Le chapeau epinglé (Stella 8). Original etching, c. 1894. This portrait of Julie Manet (Berthe Morisot's daughter and Edouard Manet's niece) and her cousin Jeanne was published in Gustave Geffroy's La Vie artistique, 3rd series (Paris, 1894) and in Georges Rivière's Renoir et ses amis (Paris, 1921). Stella notes "some reprints in limited editions." Ours is a very good early impression on thin wove paper. Even in shadowed areas like under the brim of the hat or the hair, rich detail is visible and nothing is lost to over-inking. Signed in the plate lower left. Image size: 115x85mm Price: SOLD.
Le chapeau epinglé (Stella 8). Original etching, c. 1894. This portrait of Julie Manet (Berthe Morisot's daughter and Edouard Manet's niece) and her cousin Jeanne was published in Gustave Geffroy's La Vie artistique, 3rd series (Paris, 1894) and in Georges Rivière's Renoir et ses amis (Paris, 1921). Stella notes "some reprints in limited editions," of which this is one. A fair impression on heavy handmade wove paper. As the plate wore out and the etched lines became shallower, the printers resorted to over-inking (leaving a thin film of ink on the surface of the plate rather than wiping it off and just printing what is in the grooves that Renoir made in the plate for that purpose, as in the example above). Signed in the plate lower left. Image size: 115x85mm Price: SOLD.
Claude Renoir, tourné à gauche / Claude Renoir, turned to the left (Stella 40 ii/ii, Roger-Marx 15). Original lithograph, c. 1904-1905. 1000 impressions (50 on japon, 950 on vellum, as ours) for Vollard's Douze lithographes originales de Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1919). Claude Renoir (1901-1969), nicknamed "Coco," was the youngest son of the artist; he would have been 3-4 years old when his father drew this lithograph. This was the first and only edition: the stone was effaced after printing. Signed in the stone lower right. Image size: 128x118mm; paper size: 326x248mm. Price: $6500.
Buste d'enfant, tourné à droite (Stella 22). Original softground etching, c. 1908. Published in Theodore Duret's Die Impressionisten (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1914). The subject appears to be Claude Renoir, the youngest of the artist's three sons. A very fine impression on laid paper. Collector's stamp on verso. Image size: 150x105mm. Price: $3350.
Berthe Morisot (Stella 4). Original drypoint, c. 1892. First published in Duret's "Renoir" (1924), our impression seems to be a trial proof before Duret on laid paper with no watermark but without the printed text "II. – PORTRAIT DE BERTHE MORISOT." A very sharp impression with great detail and plate tone. Signed in the plate. Stella notes some reprints in limited editions, but this impressison is much too good to be one of them. Image size: 108x91mm. Price: $4000.
Berthe Morisot (Stella 4). Original drypoint, c. 1892. This drypoint was first published in Duret's Renoir. Stella notes "some reprints in limited editions," of which this is one. A later impression with dimished plate tone and diminished contrast; the lines are less crisp because wear has made the grooves where the ink sits shallower. Image size: 108x91mm. Price: $1850.
Richard Wagner (Stella 33, Roger-Marx 8). Original lithograph, c. 1900. 100 unsigned impressions (most, like ours, on Arches measuring 637x478mm, though a few are on Japan paper) and 50 signed impressions on Japan paper. Roger-Marx suggests that the lithograph is based upon Renoir's two portraits of Wagner (1813-1883), one from the life in Palermo (Jan. 1882) in 35 minutes, the other, now owned by the Musée d'Orsay, in 1893. The stone was effaced after printing, so there are no later impressions. An important work in a relatively small edition. Image size: 435x320mm. Price: $6000.

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