Nudes and the grand tradition of classical art preoccupied Renoir in the 1880s. In this painting, he paid homage to Ingres's Grande Odalisque (Musée du Louvre, Paris), although he transformed Ingres's cool courtesan into a healthy, pink-cheeked girl, and the harem into an Impressionist landscape reminiscent of the Channel coast.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Renoir
Arsène Alexandre, Paris (until 1903; his sale, Georges Petit, Paris, May 18–19, 1903, no. 53, for Fr. 4,600 to Viau); George Viau, Paris (1903–7; his sale, Durand-Ruel, Paris, March 4, 1907, no. 54, for Fr 5,225 to Bernheim-Jeune); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; stock no. 15818; 1907–10; sold on January 18, 1910 for Fr 7,500 to Bernheim]; Emile Bernheim (from 1910); ?[Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, until 1911; sold to Cassirer]; [Paul Cassirer, Berlin, 1911; possibly stock no. 1600, purchased from Bernheim-Jeune on June 20; sold to Meirowsky]; Dr. Max Meirowsky, Cologne, then Berlin, still later Geneva (1911–d. 1949); his estate (1949–52; on deposit at Musée d'art et d'histoire, Geneva, February 16, 1950–March 21, 1952; sold to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, New York, 1952–53; sold January 27, 1953 to Haupt]; Mrs. Ira (Enid A.) Haupt, New York (1953–83; sold to Annenberg); her brother and his wife, Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1983–his d. 2002)
Paris. Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. "Salon d'automne," October 15–November 15, 1904, no. 2 (as "Femme nue").
Berlin. Secession. "XXVI.Ausstellung der Berliner Secession," 1913, no. 223 (as "Badende").
Geneva. Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. "De Watteau à Cezanne," July 7–September 30, 1951, no. 79 (as "Grande Baigneuse," lent by a private collection, Geneva).
New York. Parke-Bernet. "Art Treasures Exhibition," June 16–30, 1955, no. 357 (as "Reclining Nude," lent by Mrs. Ira Haupt).
New York. Wildenstein. "Nude in Painting," November 1–December 1, 1956, no. 33 (as "Nude Reclining," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Ira Haupt).
New York. Wildenstein. "Renoir," April 8–May 10, 1958, no. 46 (as "Nude Reclining," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Ira Haupt).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat.
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde," February 28–June 3, 2012, not in catalogue.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Vittorio Pica. Gl'impressionisti francesi. Bergamo, 1908, p. 91, ill.
Julius Meier-Graefe. "Renoir." Kunst und Künstler 15 (November 1916), ill. p. 51.
De Watteau à Cézanne. Exh. cat., Geneva Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. 1951, p. 35, no. 79, dates it about 1890.
Paul Georges. "A Painter Looks at: a) the Nude, b) Corot." Art News 55 (November 1956), pp. 38–39, ill.
Nude in Painting. Exh. cat., New York Wildenstein. 1956, unpaginated, no. 33, ill., dates it 1884–86.
Renoir. Exh. cat., New York Wildenstein. 1958, p. 60, no. 46, ill., dates it about 1884.
Vassily Photiadès. Renoir Nudes. [1st ed. 1960]. Lausanne, 1964, unpaginated, ill. (color), dates it 1884.
François Daulte. Auguste Renoir: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 1, Figures. Lausanne, 1971, p. 49, no. 435, ill. (color and black and white), dates it 1883.
Elda Fezzi. L'opera completa di Renoir. [reprint ed., 1981]. Milan, 1972, p. 114, no. 573, ill.
Max-Pol Fouchet. Les Nus de Renoir. Paris, 1974, p. 131, ill. p. 89.
Christopher Riopelle. "Renoir: The Great Bathers." Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 86 (Autumn 1990), p. 18.
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. ix, 42–43, 154–55, ill. (color and black and white), dates it late 1883 and relates it to Renoir's visit to Guernsey in the autumn of that year; remarks that it was probably not intended for exhibition and may have been given by Renoir to Arsène Alexandre; discusses the influence of Ingres's "Grande Odalisque" (1814; Musée du Louvre, Paris); notes the similar treatment of the background in "By the Seashore" (1883; MMA 29.100.125; D448) and observes that the figure's pose reappears in several pictures of the 1890s, such as "Reclining Nude" of about 1892 (Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; D623) and "Bathers in the Forest" of about 1897 (Barnes Foundation, Merion, Penn.).
Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), p. 36.
Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux arts no. 92 (July–August 1991), p. 69, ill. p. 66 (color).
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 119–23, no. 23, ill. (color).
Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville. Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles. Vol. 2, 1882–1894. Paris, 2009, pp. 408–9, no. 1341, ill.
Rebecca Rabinow inThe Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde. Ed. Janet Bishop, Cécile Debray, and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco, 2011, pp. 26, 47 n. 104, colorpl. 6, follows Bailey 2009 in stating the sale price in 1907 as 4,750 francs and uses it as an example of the "prohibitively high" prices of the Renoirs at the Viau sale.