Auguste Renoir - The port of Rochelle 1896

The port of Rochelle 1896
The port of Rochelle
1896 20x32cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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From Sotheby's:
The present work is a beautiful rendering of the picturesque port of La Rochelle on France's west coast. Renoir depicts one of the towers which guard the entrance to the harbour bringing to the scene the saturated colour more often associated with his paintings of the Mediterranean. In this period Renoir was travelling widely, seeking out new subjects and clearly the lively harbour with its brightly coloured fishing boats appealed to him.
In the present work we also see the influence of the long line of French artists whose classical style of painting was central to Renoir's art throughout his life. The influence of Claude Lorraine is particularly evident here, both in terms of subject matter and atmosphere. While the work captures Renoir's avant-garde edge, it likewise remains consistent in depicting him as a 'faithful priest of the art which is immortal because it is the earthly reflection of eternal divine beauty (Nicholas Wadley, Renoir: a Retrospective, New York, 1987, p. 277)