Pierre Auguste Renoir painted a great many canvases of single bathers in outdoor settings, timeless studies of fulsome young women. In the Lehman painting, his model averts her glance, seated in shy three-quarter profile. Innocent yet sensual, this charming nude would have pleased Renoir's audience in the later nineteenth century. The picture is thinly painted, its brushwork soft and supple. Renoir probably posed his model in the studio, since the rapidly brushed landscape background is far more imaginary than real. Claude Monet first owned this painting, and remarked to a friend that while the nude was beautiful, the landscape was conventional. Renoir clearly concentrates his brush on the undulating physiognomy of his innocent auburn-haired model.
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Signature: Signed and dated (lower left): Renoir.92.
Claude Monet, Giverny, France (1840-1926, purchased from the artist in 1900); Marie Harriman, New York (1903-1970, acquired between 1926-1936 until 1940); George Gard de Sylva, Los Angeles (1895-1950, acquired 1940 until at least 1948); [Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles]; acquired from Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, by Robert Lehman, New York, May 1952.
Henri de Régnier. Renoir, Peintre du Nu. 1923, p. 57, ill.
Alfred M. Frankfurter. "Cézanne, Derain, Kuhn, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh in an Informal Show." Art News 34 (February 22, 1936), p. 7, cover ill.
Unknown. "Golden Gate Special Number." Art Digest 14 (July 1, 1940), ill. p. 17.
Unknown. "Artists in Action Steal the Show at San Francisco Art Fair." Life (July 29, 1940), p. 48, color ill.
Rosamund Frost. Pierre Auguste Renoir. New York, 1944, p. 15, ill.
Aline B. Louchheim. "Buddy de Sylva: Gift to Hollywood." ARTNews 45 (September 1946), p. 29, ill.
William Reinhold Valentiner. The Mr. and Mrs. George Gard de Sylva Collection of French Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Sculpture. Los Angeles, 1950, no. 50, pp. 40-41, ill.
Jean Leymarie. Renoir. London and New York, 1953, colorpl. 59.
Hermann Bünemann. Renoir. Ettal, 1959, p. 101, color ill.
Raymond Cogniat. Renoir: Nudes. New York, 1959, colorpl. 11.
Henry Dauberville. La Bataille de l'Impressionisme. Paris, 1967, p. 202.
Colin Hayes. Renoir. Rev. ed., London, 1967, p. 37, colorpl. 24.
Elda Fezzi. L'opera completa di Renoir. [reprint ed., 1981]. Milan, 1972, no. 669, p. 119, ill.
François Daulte. Renoir. Garden City, N.Y., 1973, p. 80, ill.
John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. 4th rev. ed. New York, 1973, p. 581, color ill.
Max-Pol Fouchet. Les Nus de Renoir. Paris, 1974, p. 142, ill.
Jean Leymarie. Renoir. London and New York, 1979, colorpl. 59.
Lucy Oakley. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. New York, 1980, p. 14, fig. 19 (color).
Elda Fezzi. Tout l'Ouevre Peint de Renoir: Période Impressioniste 1869-1883. Paris, 1985, no. 633, p. 115.
Renoir. Exh. cat.London, 1985, p. 259, fig. a (p. 274, fig. 47, in French ed.).
Horst Keller. Auguste Renoir. Munich, 1987, p. 166, pl. 115.
Anne Distel. Renoir: "Il faut embellir". New York, 1993, p. 108, color ill.
Anne Distel. Renoir: A Sensuous Vision. New York, 1995, p. 108, color ill.
Peter H. Feist. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1841-1919: A Dream of Harmony. Cologne, 2000, color ill. Opp. P. 81.
Gilles Néret. Renoir, Painter of Happiness. Cologne, 2001, p. 322, color ill., p. 334.
Richard Shone. The Janice H. Levin Collection of French Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2002, p. 57, color ill.
Francesca Castellani. Renoir: His Life and Works. Secaucus, N.J. , 2004, p. 200, color ill.
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