Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Les Baigneuses au crabe, I (Bathers Playing with a Crab, I), c.1897-1900

Sold. Please call us at 510-777-9970 for similar works.
Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919)
Title: Les Baigneuses au crabe, I (Bathers Playing with a Crab, I), c.1897-1900
Medium: Pastel counterproof on Japan paper laid on buff paper
Image Size: 27 1/2 in x 21 in (69.9 cm x 53.3 cm)
Sheet Size: 27 1/2 in x 21 in (69.9 cm x 53.3 cm)
Framed Size: 36 7/16 in x 30 5/8 in (92.6 cm x 77.8 cm)
Signature: This work is signed with the counterproof signature in reverse in the lower right.
Condition: This work is in excellent condition.
Gallery Price: Sold. Please call us at 510-777-9970 for similar works.
ID # W-5796

In this delicate and ethereal artwork from notable impressionist Renoir Les Baigneuses au crabe (Bathers Playing with a Crab), c. 1897-1900 revisits one of the artist’s most beloved themes, the female bathers. This classical motif of women became Renoir’s primary subject matter after viewing Italian Renaissance paintings in 1881. Featuring voluminous figures, and the impressionist’s signature loose, gestural style, Renoir Les Baigneuses au crabe (Bathers Playing with a Crab), c. 1897-1900 embraces the softness of femininity.

In whispering lines and faint pastel colors, the impressions of three nude women take shape.  Composed in blurry shadows of warm hues, the women are drawn with indistinguishable faces. Still their story is apparent through expressive poses and the overall girlish tone. At the center a blonde woman elegantly reclines in an odalisque pose with her back turned away from the viewer. To her left, we see another woman sitting quaintly.  To her right, a friend childishly taunts the blonde woman. The friend with long brown hair kneels in front, facing the blonde woman, presenting the crab as a mischievous gift. The delightful and rare pastel counterproof embodies an innocence of friendship with a playful spirit, while delivering a graceful composition.

Created c. 1897-1900, this pastel counterproof on Japan paper laid on buff paper is signed with the counterproof signature in reverse in the lower right.

A counterproof is created when a damp sheet of paper is placed over a chalk or pastel drawing or a recently pulled print and pressure is applied, either by hand-rubbing or running the sheets through a printing press. A mirror image of the pastel is transferred onto the second sheet of paper, while the pastel itself appears essentially unchanged.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ & COA:

Renoir Bathers Playing with a Crab, I (Les Baigneuses au crabe, I), c. 1897-1900 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work):

1. Adelson, Warren. Renoir: The Pastel Counterproofs, Exhibition Catalog, New York: Adelsen Galleries, 2007. Another example is listed and illustrated no. 31.

2. Vollard, Ambroise. Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Paintings, Pastels, and Drawings . New York: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1989. This work is the counterproof (second transfer) of the pastel listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 73.

3. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

ABOUT THE FRAMING:
Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards Renoir Bathers Playing with a Crab, I (Les Baigneuses au crabe, I),  c. 1897-1900 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

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