Auguste Renoir - Landscape at Wargemont 1879

Landscape at wargemont 1879
Landscape at Wargemont
1879 100х80cm oil/canvas
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, USA

« previous picture | 1870s Renoir Paintings | next picture »

From - Toledo Museum of Art Masterworks, p. 262:
"In the open air you are inspired to use colors that would have been unimaginable in the attenuated lighting of the studio."--Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Liquid colors in glowing, gem-like tones glide into each other, blurring contours in one of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's most remarkable landscape paintings. Renoir painted it in late summer 1879, while he was a guest at the estate of the man who would become his greatest patron and a close friend, the banker and diplomat Paul Bérard (1833-1905). Bérard and his family lived at Wargemont in Normandy, near Dieppe, in northern France. Renoir was enchanted by the Normandy countryside, exploring the fields and forests around Wargemont, as well as the coastline. He set up his easel to record his impressions of the landscape, painting a number of views over the course of his stay at the Bérards'. These works, including Road at Wargemont, however, were apparently not meant for Paul Bérard's collection, (Bérard seems only to have owned one landscape by Renoir, a view of Venice). Renoir's friend Jacques-Emile Blanche, also a guest at the Bérards' estate, speculated years later that Renoir's landscapes at Wargemont were painted for the artist's relaxation. In fact Renoir never exhibited Road at Wargemont in Paris, nor did his dealer, though it was exhibited in Copenhagen late in Renoir's life, in 1914.
The dreamlike view of rolling hills, winding road, lines of trees, and clumps of bushes is experimental and forward-looking in technique. Renoir applied his thin, translucent layers of paint wet into wet, giving the image its fluid, unfocused, and luminous appearance. His rapid, spontaneous execution invigorates a scene of nature in flux as the wind picks up and a storm rolls into the valley.