In 1907, Renoir purchased the estate of Les Collettes at Cagnes on the Mediterranean near Nice. He moved there in autumn 1908. The estate, with its picturesque farmhouse, its groves of olive and orange trees, and the views it afforded of the hilly countryside, provided the artist with major motifs for his late landscapes. This painting, executed in a fluid manner and suffused by the bright light of southern France, is one of several representations of the farm framed by olive trees painted between 1908 and 1914. Renoir's use of trees as a visual screen recalls Cézanne's method of integrating foreground and background space.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Credit Line:Bequest of Charlotte Gina Abrams, in memory of her husband, Lucien Abrams, 1961
Cagnes: Renoir’s health was compromised as, over time, he became increasingly disabled by rheumatoid arthritis. The artist was intolerant of the cold wet weather in Paris, and the family began to spend the winter months living in various rental properties in small towns in the south of France. Later, they rented an apartment in Nice. Meanwhile, in June 1907, Renoir and Aline bought a property called Les Collettes at Cagnes-sur-Mer, becoming the owners of a dilapidated nineteenth-century farmhouse on sloping ground among ancient olive trees, which was set high above the Mediterranean and offered a beautiful view of the neighboring medieval old town. The modest house, pictured here, was not suited to the needs of a painter who was wealthy and unwell, and had a wife and three children, a household staff, and a constant stream of visitors. The couple engaged a local architect to design a large modern establishment with formal gardens which particularly pleased Madame Renoir, and into which they moved in November 1908. Although he continued to travel by rail and by car, the painter was frail and confined to a wheelchair. He spent more and more time in Cagnes, where over the years he received many visitors, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse among them. He died there in 1919. The houses and property now constitute the Musée Renoir at Cagnes, which is owned by the French state and open to the public.
The Painting: Renoir himself preferred the unimproved landscape around the farmhouse. The foreground and background of this sun-washed view are woven loosely together to form a colorful pattern in which the building is overwhelmed by trees and other exuberant, untamed vegetation. The building is reached by a rough cart track. A figure on the balcony is barely distinguishable. The drips and the bare canvas exposed along the bottom edge indicate that the work was tacked to a support—not attached to a stretcher—when it was painted, almost certainly out of doors, as, despite his incapacities, Renoir continued to work on his landscapes before the motif in good weather. Among the views of the old house the one that is most similar, owing to its open, variegated brushwork, is taken from closer in and to the right (Musée Renoir, Cagnes, 84-1). Pictures from this late period can rarely be dated with any degree of precision. The two canvases must have been among the more than seven hundred paintings inventoried by Renoir’s several dealers after his death. This work did not appear on the art market until 1937.
Katharine Baetjer 2021
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Renoir.
the artist, Cagnes-sur-Mer (until d. 1919; his estate); [Jos Hessel, until 1937, sold in February to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1937; stock no. NY 5338, sold July 12 for $10,000 to Abrams]; Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Abrams, Old Lyme, Conn. (from 1937–his d. 1941); Charlotte Gina (Mrs. Lucien) Abrams, Old Lyme, Conn. (1941–until d. 1961)
Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "Five Centuries of European Painting," May 16–October 26, 1963, unnumbered cat. (as "The Artist's House at Cannes" [sic] [p. 45]).
Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," April 19–June 1, 1986, no. 16 (as "The Artist's House at Cagnes").
Kobe City Museum. "Landscape Painting in the East and West," June 7–July 13, 1986, no. 16.
Portland, Maine. Portland Museum of Art. "Impressions of the Riviera," June 25–October 18, 1998, no. 63 (as "The Farm at Les Collettes, Cagnes").
Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal. "Auguste Renoir und die Landschaft des Impressionismus," October 28, 2007–January 27, 2008, unnumbered cat. (as "The Farm at Les Collettes") (p. 135).
Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Renoir au XXe siècle," September 23, 2009–January 4, 2010, no. 45.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Renoir in the 20th Century," February 14–May 9, 2010, no. 45.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Late Renoir," June 17–September 6, 2010, no. 45.
Marseilles. Musée des Beaux-Arts, palais Longchamp. "Le Grand Atelier du Midi: De Van Gogh à Bonnard," June 13–October 13, 2013, no. 18.
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
Albert André. Renoir. Paris, , pl. 22, calls it "La Ferme".
Albert André. L'Atelier de Renoir. Vol. 1, Paris, 1931, p. 236, no. 309, pl. 96, dates it 1908–12.
François Fosca. Renoir: His Life and Work. first American ed. 1962. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1961, p. 247, ill.
Elda Fezzi. L'opera completa di Renoir. [reprint ed., 1981]. Milan, 1972, p. 123, no. 753, ill.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 484, ill. p. 485.
John House inImpressions of the Riviera. Exh. cat., Portland Museum of Art. Portland, Maine, 1998, pp. 25, 79, no. 63, fig. 13 (color).
Lin Arison in Lin Arison and Neil Folberg. Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections. New York, 2007, ill. pp. 110, 263 (color).
Virginie Journiac inRenoir in the 20th Century. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Ostfildern, 2010, pp. 90, 262–63, no. 45, ill. p. 265 (color) [French ed., "Renoir au XXe siècle," Paris, 2009], dates it about 1914.
John House inRenoir in the Barnes Foundation. New Haven, 2012, p. 205, fig. 1 (color), notes that after Renoir bought the estate in 1907, he lived in a newly built house but preserved the former owner's house, depicted in this painting.
Marie-Paule Vial inLe Grand Atelier du Midi. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, palais Longchamp, Marseilles. Paris, 2013, p. 280, no. 18, ill. 66 (color).
Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 5, 1911–1919 & 1er Supplément. Paris, 2014, p. 187, no. 3947, ill.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.