Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Bay of Naples

Artist:
Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer)
Date:
1881
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
23 1/2 x 32 in. (59.7 x 81.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Julia W. Emmons, 1956
Accession Number:
56.135.8
Not on view
In this work, painted in 1881 during Renoir’s sojourn in Italy, the volcano Vesuvius can be seen in the background.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Renoir. 81.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1882–83; stock no. 2391; bought from artist on May 22, 1882, for Fr 700; sold on May 1, 1883, for Fr 3,000 to Duncan]; James Duncan, Benmore House, Dunoon, Argyllshire, Scotland (1883–ca. 1886/88); [James S. Inglis, New York, until 1888; sold on July 18, for Fr 275, to Boussod, Valadon]; [Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris, 1888–91; stock no. 19390; sold on December 24, 1891, for Fr 2,600, to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1891; sold to Palmer]; Mrs. Potter Palmer, Chicago (until 1894; sold on June 28 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1894–1911, stock no. 1192; sold on May 23 to Emmons]; Arthur B. Emmons, New York and Newport (1911–d. 1922); Mrs. Arthur B. Emmons (Julia W.) New York and Newport (1922–d. 1956)
Paris. Durand-Ruel. "Exposition des oeuvres de P. A. Renoir," April 1–25, 1883, no. 32.

New York. Wildenstein. "Renoir," April 8–May 10, 1958, no. 33 (as "Bay of Naples").

San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Paintings by the Sea," July 1-30, 1961.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art. August 8–September 3, 1961.

Ann Arbor. University of Michigan Museum of Art. "Pompeii, As Source and Inspiration," 1977, no. 46.

Naples. Museo di Capodimonte. "Capolavori Impressionisti dei Musei Americani," December 3, 1986–February 1, 1987, no. 43 (as "Il golfo di Napoli").

Milan. Pinacoteca di Brera. "Capolavori Impressionisti dei Musei Americani," March 4–May 10, 1987, no. 43.

Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Theo van Gogh," June 24–September 5, 1999, no. 65 (as "La baie de Naples").

Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Theo van Gogh: Marchand de tableaux, collectionneur, frère de Vincent," September 27, 1999–January 9, 2000, no. 65.

London. National Gallery. "Renoir Landscapes: 1865–1883," February 21–May 20, 2007, no. 65 (as "The Bay of Naples [Morning]").

Edinburgh. National Gallery Complex. "Impressionism and Scotland," July 19–October 12, 2008, unnumbered cat. (pl. 2).

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, pp. 154–55, ill.

Barbara Ehrlich White. "Renoir's Trip to Italy." Art Bulletin (December 1969), pp. 339, 343, 345, no. 10, fig. 19, ill., as "Vesuvius, Evening".

John Rewald. "Théo van Gogh, Goupil, and the Impressionists." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 81 (January 1973), pp. 28–29, 62 n. 60, fig. 15.

Barbara Ehrlich White. Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters. New York, 1984, pp. 116, 122, 127, ill. (color).

Gary Tinterow et al. Capolavori impressionisti dei musei americani. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. Milan, 1987, pp. 96–97, 112, no. 43, ill. (color).

Richard Shone. The Janice H. Levin Collection of French Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, p. 51, fig. 23.

Colin B. Bailey in Renoir Landscapes: 1865–1883. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2007, pp. 68, 80 n. 127, fig. 48 (color).

Christopher Riopelle in Renoir Landscapes: 1865–1883. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2007, pp. 48, 249–51, no. 65, ill. (color), compares it to the similar view in a painting in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, noting that contrary to past opinion, this work depicts a morning scene while the Clark version depicts the evening; states that Renoir may have looked down upon the bay from his window or balcony at the Hotel Trinacaria, above the northeastern end of the quay at the Piazza Municipio.

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. 221, no. 167, ill.

Frances Fowle. Impressionism and Scotland. Exh. cat., National Gallery Complex. Edinburgh, 2008, pp. 13, 23, 65, 123, 129, 143, colorpl. 2, states that James Duncan purchased it in May 1883, making it the first Impressionist painting to be acquired by a Scottish collector; notes that it was also the only Renoir purchased by a British collector in the nineteenth century.

Andrew McDonald Watson. "James Duncan of Benmore, the First Owner of Renoir's 'Bay of Naples (Morning)'." Metropolitan Museum Journal 43 (2008), pp. 195–200, fig. 1 (color), notes that it was sold by Durand-Ruel to Duncan on May 1, 1883 for Fr 3,000, making it the first Renoir painting sold by Durand-Ruel in Scotland and the only known Renoir acquired by a British collector in the nineteenth century.

Andrew Watson. "James Duncan of Benmore: A Remarkable Victorian Collector." Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History 14 (2009–10), pp. 44, 46, 47 n. 4, p. 49 n. 54, fig. 6.

Andrew M. Watson. James Duncan: An Enlightened Victorian. Edinburgh, 2010, pp. 58–59, 66, 71, 78, ill. (color), and ill. on cover (color).

Sylvie Patry in Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market. Ed. Sylvie Patry. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. London, 2015, p. 113, fig. 78 (color) [French ed., "Paul Durand-Ruel: le Pari de l'Impressionnisme," Paris, 2014, p. 88, fig. 61 (color)].



A similar painting by Renoir of the Bay of Naples, also dated 1881, is in the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, Mass.
Related Objects

A Girl Reading (with a Sketch of Seated Woman)

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer) Date: n.d. Medium: Charcoal, some stumping Accession: 1972.118.227 On view in:Not on view

Studies of Landscape, Trees, and Exotic Fruit

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer) Date: ca. 1885 Medium: Watercolor and ink over graphite Accession: 66.96 On view in:Not on view

Young Woman with a Muff

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer) Date: 1860–1919 Medium: Pastel Accession: 29.100.195 On view in:Not on view

Enfants jouant à la balle (Girls playing ball)

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer) Date: 1900 Medium: Lithograph printed in color Accession: 1984.1203.120 On view in:Not on view

On the Beach at Berneval

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer) Date: 1860–1919 Medium: Drypoint on wove paper Accession: 23.501 On view in:Not on view