Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Louis Valtat, c. 1904
Signed Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Lithograph, Louis Valtat, c. 1904
|Artist:||Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841 - 1919)|
|Title:||Louis Valtat, c. 1904|
|Image Size:||11 1/2 in x 9 1/8 in (29.21 cm x 23.2 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||12 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in (32.39 cm x 24.77 cm)|
|Framed Size:||26 1/4 in x 24 in (66.7 cm x 61 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is signed by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Limoges, 1841 - Cagnes-sur-Mer, 1919) in the stone in the lower right.|
|Edition:||From the edition of 950 (total edition of 1000) and an only state printed on Vellum paper and printed in an album of 12 lithographs printed and published by Ambroise Vollard in 1919.|
|Condition:||This work is in pristine condition.|
Louis Valtat was a French painter associated with the Fauvist movement (art that used intense pure colors in a totally non-naturalistic way) and one of Renoir's closest friends. Their families would vacation together, and in this portrait of Valtat, we witness a tenderness unseen in other portraits of Renoir's friends. This softness, along with Valtat's contemplative expression, makes this work an intriguing addition to any collection.
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|Created c.1904, this portrait was from the edition of 950 and is from an only
state printed on Vellum paper with deckle edges along the borders (there was
also an edition of 50 on Japon paper). Signed 'Renoir' in the stone in the lower
right. Commissioned in 1919 to be part of an album of 12 lithographs created
by Renoir, this portrait was printed and published by Ambroise Vollard in Douze
Lithographies Orginales de Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Having been close friends with a number of artists in Paris at the time, Renoir created an intimate portrait of a fellow artist, Louis Valtat (1869-1952) who worked closely with Renoir and whom he traded art techniques with. Valtat was also an acquaintance of Ambroise Vollard who was the first to suggest to Renoir of using their mutual friend as a subject of a portrait. Seated in a relaxed and comfortable pose in a chair, Valtat is depicted in a casual suit with his right arm propped along the back of the chair, and his frame positioned slightly sideways in the seat. His prominent facial features, namely his chin, and nose, are delicately shadowed and detailed coupled with the contemplative expression seen in his eyes. Renoir uses his overall talent and skill in portraiture to create this telling and revealing portrait of his close friend and colleague.
It was not until the Renaissance of print-making in France began to wane when Pierre-Auguste Renoir became fascinated with the medium and produced several prints during the late 1890s and into the early 1900s. This portrait of Louis Valtat was one of the results of his pursuits into lithography.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Delteil, Loys with Alan Hyman, ed. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Ethcings & Lithographs: Catalogue Raisonné, San Francisco, 1999. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 38 on pgs. 82-3.
2. Roger-Marx, Claude. Les Lithographies de Renoir, Monte-Carlo. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 13 on pgs. 50-1.
3. Stella, Dr. Joseph G. The Graphic Work of Renoir, Catalogue Raisonné, London. Listed as cat. no. 38 and illustrated as plate no. 38. Also listed on the title page folio as Lithographs, no. 38.
4. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
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Biography of Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French painter born in Limoges, died in Cagnes. He was the son of a tailor. In 1845 his family moved to Paris. Between 1856 and 1859 he took an apprenticeship and then worked as a porcelain painter, also taking evening classes in drawing. Renoir then studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He was a fellow student of Monet, Sisley and Bazille; he went on summer painting trips with them to Chailly and Fountainbleau. He studied the eighteenth century paintings in the Louvre and also met Corot, Millet and Diaz. In 1864 his work was first accepted at the Salon. During the 1870s he painted with Monet at Argenteuil and elsewhere, and came to know Cezanne, Degas, and Pissarro. In 1874 his work was included in the first Impressionist exhibition (and in three of the subsequent seven.) He had little public success but was patronized by Caillebotte, Chocquet and others. From the late 1870s on he enjoyed increased success at the Salons, especially with portraiture. Eventually, he became dissatisfied with Impressionism and felt renewed admiration for Ingres, Raphael and eighteenth-century art. During the 1880s he worked increasingly in the south of France. Renoir's early work as a porcelain painter reflects two constant characteristics of his art: an enormous natural facility and a dedication to eighteenth century standards of decoration and craftsmanship. Apart from the personality of his brushwork, the main distinction of his 1870s Impressionism was his preoccupation with the figure as subject matter and particularly with the gay vitality of Parisian life. Less rigorously introspective than Monet, he made his reputation at the Salons from the late 1870s with a series of fashionable portraits. Here his dexterity was combined with anecdotal charm. many of the sculptures he made at the end of his life are direct transpositions of painted motifs. These were largely made by an assistant (a pupil of Maillol), Renoir's own hands being almost crippled with arthritis. ¹
¹ Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art.