Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was the last of the Impressionists to be drawn into printmaking, turning to the medium when he was almost fifty years old. Though he was extremely skilled as an etcher and lithographer, he spent the majority of his career establishing himself as a painter. Thus, most of the prints we have from him were executed for friends and colleagues or for book frontispieces and illustrations. Although they are limited (Renoir only created about sixty prints in total), his etchings and lithographs posses such merit, that it is truly a cause for regret that the artist did not produce a greater number of them.
As a printmaker, Renoir was greatly indebted to the encouragement and support of two men - Ambroise Vollard, the great Parisian art dealer and the most important print publisher of his time, and Auguste Clot, the master lithographer who printed many of the Vollard editions.
Renoir was not overly theoretical with the content of his work, and instead simply chose to represent what he loved. His work is sensual, but always charming and never threatening. Théodore Duret, an authority on the origins of the Impressionist movement wrote that, “Instead of contriving like Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, or Degas to find a singular point of view or unexpected lighting, Renoir wanted to see and love only what everyone, or almost everyone, sees and loves: a woman, a tree, flowers, childhood, water…”
Renoir’s women are supple and soft, and though their images are rendered in black and white, he is still able to capture the lustrous quality their skin. There is a lyrical quality to Renoir’s prints, and he is unsurpassed in representing a woman’s grace and physical beauty.
1897. Original soft ground etching. Signed in the plate Renoir.
1904. Original lithograph. Signed on the stone below the image lower right Renoir. Proof impression of this rare lithograph, apart from the edition of 75 commissioned to illustrate an unrealized publication of Leo Vanier. 7 516 x 9 3/16".
Etude Pour Une Baigneuse.
1906. Original drypoint. Signed with artist's signature cachet Renoir. 8 3/4 x 6 1/2". SOLD.