Fine Antique Decorative Arts by Estate Liquidations and Consignments
Pierre Auguste Renoir Lithograph Son Claude 1841-1919

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Directory: Fine Art: Prints: Engravings: Pre 1920: item # 1062996

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Estate Liquidations and Consignments
South Central United States
By Appointment Only

Pierre Auguste Renoir Lithograph Son Claude 1841-1919
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Lithograph of Renoir's son, Claude, likely created around 1907. Renoir is known to have made many drawings of his sons, especially Claude. Although we have found no reference for this exact drawing, it resembles one which Renoir painted of Claude as he (Claude) worked at an easel; and, indeed, a portion of this print showing what is likely an easel, is under the mirrored mat. The painting was the reverse of this lithograph. What appears as a black mat around the edges in the photos, is mirrored glass, commonly used in the 1920s through 1940s.

The print is the size of the back frame opening, and extends underneath the the mirrored portion to the edge of the back opening. It measures about 19" x 18"; has a graphite signature left, "Renoir," and graphite "#17" right (under the glass mat and not seen in photos); above the #17, is an embossed emblem of a woman and an eagle which could be either a printer's symbol or a collector's mark. The #17 also appears on the back of the print. Additionally, there is a watermark above the emblem, but which we were unable to photograph, and unable to identify.

The paper is laid, fine quality. The portion of the paper which is under the mirrored mat is slightly lighter in color than the exposed area, a normal occurrence over a long period of time. The signature has been verified as "graphite," and indeed matches one of the signatures commonly offered as being one of those used by Renoir, but because we have been unable to positively identify the image and the embossed mark, we do not make any guarantee of signature authenticity. For that reason, we have priced the print as if the signature were in the plate. $60 US Shipping.

BIOGRAPHY Courtesy of AskArt: "Renoir was born on February 25, 1841, in the small manufacturing town of Limoges. His family moved to Paris when he was four years old. Gounod advised him to become a musician, but Renoir felt more compulsion toward the graphic arts. At thirteen he joined a ceramic establishment where he painted flowers on porcelain. Later he supported himself by decorating fans. In 1861 he joined the Gleyre atelier where Sisley, Monet and Bazille were also studying. None of them was very happy there, but Renoir especially was out of sympathy with the academic atmosphere of the place. When the master accused him of seeking amusement from painting, he replied that of course he did, or he would otherwise abandon the pursuit. After a year he began to work without a teacher, adapting Courbet's trick of using a palette knife, and painting with purer and lighter colors.

He first exhibited in 1868; he also participated in the famous Nadar exhibition of Impressionists in 1874. He was dependent on portraiture for his living until the auctions of his works in 1875 and 1877 which brought him some independence and enabled him to travel. In 1883 a sort of break occurred in his work. He felt he had gone to the end of Impressionism; he was reaching the conclusion that he did not know how to paint or draw. This bewilderment and discouragement, though exaggerated, had a salutary effect, for Renoir reviewed his methods, again studied the works of old masters whom he loved and went on painting pictures, better than before.

By the 1890s Renoir was well settled into family life. Owing to his delicate bronchial tubes, he and his wife with their young son Pierre [Claude] spent the winters by the Mediterranean and often in summer visited seaside spots on the Channel. In 1893, a second son, Jean, was born. Jean Renoir was to become the now famous movie director.

Suffering from failing eyesight in his later years, Renoir began to use stronger colors. His last years were spent in Provence where he continued to paint although he could only get about in a wheelchair and his hand was so crippled with arthritis that his brush had to be strapped to his wrist. He could no longer get far from the house, but finding he could paint every day he was contented. He died in Cagnes.

Sources include: Masterpieces of Art, Catalogue of the New York World's Fair 1940 Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: French Impressionists and Figure Painting by Renoir"

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