Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer)
Oil on canvas
19 7/8 x 24 1/2 in. (50.5 x 62.2 cm)
Bequest of Julia W. Emmons, 1956
Not on view
While a guest at the country house of Paul Berard, Renoir was captivated by the seaside views. This area of the Normandy coast, notable for its steep cliffs and weather-swept panoramas, also attracted Monet during the early 1880s. Renoir painted this scene out-of-doors, working quickly to capture the landscape's salient features before the lighting conditions changed.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Renoir .80.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1890–95, stock no. 788; bought from the artist on December 3; sold on January 7 to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1895–1906, stock no. 1316; sold on February 9 to Emmons]; Arthur B. Emmons, New York and Newport (1906–d. 1922); Mrs. Arthur B. Emmons (Julia W.) New York and Newport (1922–d. 1956)
Nashville. Fisk University. "100 Years of European Painting," April 28–June 10, 1965, unnum. checklist (as "Landscape").
New York. Wildenstein. "Renoir: In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Renoir's Death," March 27–May 3, 1969, no. 34.
Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," April 19–June 1, 1986, no. 15.
Kobe City Museum. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," June 7–July 13, 1986, no. 15.
Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "Renoir, Master Impressionist," July 30–September 11, 1994, no. 17 (as "View of the Coast near Wargemont").
Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Renoir, Master Impressionist," September 18–October 30, 1994, no. 17.
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Renoir, Master Impressionist," November 5, 1994–January 15, 1995, no. 17.
Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Renoir," January 20–May 27, 1996, no. 57.
London. National Gallery. "Renoir Landscapes: 1865–1883," February 21–May 20, 2007, no. 52 (as "View of the Coast Near Wargemont").
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, p. 153, ill., note that it was formerly called "Landscape, Guernsey"; comment that it was undoubtedly painted during Renoir's second visit to the diplomat Paul Bérard at Wargemont, near Berneval, on the Channel coast; characterize the painting as an example of Renoir's impressionistic style of the late 1870s and early 1880s.
Renoir: In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Renoir's Death. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 1969, unpaginated, no. 34, ill.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, p. 165, ill. (color), affirms that Renoir painted it out-of-doors, "working quickly and broadly to capture the landscape's salient features before the lighting conditions changed"; comments that as in many classic Impressionist works by Renoir and Monet, the surface is quite rough.
John House. Renoir, Master Impressionist. Exh. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. Sydney, 1994, pp. 21, 84–85, no. 17, ill. (color), calls it "View of the Coast near Wargemont"; contrasts its technique with some of Renoir's other Wargemont paintings of the previous year.
Götz Adriani. Renoir. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Tübingen. Cologne, 1996, pp. 41, 198–99, no. 57, ill. (color).
Richard Shone. The Janice H. Levin Collection of French Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, fig. 25.
Colin B. Bailey inRenoir Landscapes: 1865–1883. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2007, p. 198 n. 4, pp. 204, 215, identifies the same site from a different angle in Renoir's "The Mussel Harvest" of 1879 (National Gallery of Art, Washington).
John Zarobell inRenoir Landscapes: 1865–1883. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2007, pp. 218–19, no. 52, ill. (color), asserts that it was begun outdoors but completed in the studio, noting the contrast between the thick areas of pigment and the lighter treatment of sea and sky.
Guy-Patrice Dauberville, and Michel Dauberville, with Camille Fremontier-Murphy. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 1, 1858–1881. Paris, 2007, p. 213, no. 155, ill.
John House inRenoir in the Barnes Foundation. New Haven, 2012, p. 95, fig. 2 (color), states that the landscapes Renoir painted at Wargemont in 1879 and 1880 "mark the beginning of his move away from the explicitly contemporary scenarios of the environs of Paris to the seemingly more timeless, unchanging scenes that he favored in his later work" and notes the "unconventional viewpoint".
This scene was probably painted during Renoir's second visit to the summer home of his friend Paul Bérard at Wargemont on the Channel coast.