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Creator Name: Renoir, Pierre-Auguste
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1841 - 1919
Creator Name-CRT: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Title: The Seine at Chatou
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1874
Creation End Date: 1874
Creation Date: 1874
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 20 x 25 in. (50.8 x 63.5 cm.) Framed dimensions: 31 x 36 x 1 9/16 in. (78.74 x 91.44 x 4 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1985.R.62
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Context: The Seine at Châtou is among the finest, boldest, and best preserved of Renoir's landscapes from the first half of the 1870s. Although Renoir is known to have worked in Argenteuil with Monet during the summers of 1873 and 1874, when this work was painted, writers have used the railroad bridge to identify its site as the nearby village of Châtou, where Renoir painted frequently throughout the 1870s and early 1880s.When one compares this work to the most technically and compositionally advanced paintings by Monet, Sisley, or Pissarro from the same years, Renoir's landscape becomes even bolder. Virtually its entire surface is devoted to "unstable" elements, either water or sky, and as if this visual instability were not enough, Renoir refused the viewer even a strip of path or slip of river bank on which to stand. As a result, we become disembodied, floating viewers whose eyes are forced to wander across the water, looking for admission to this otherwise pleasant summer scene. This sense of distancing and instability is strengthened by Renoir's omission of all human figures from his landscape.Perhaps because Renoir was known even to his friends and contemporaries as a figure painter, he allowed himself free rein when he painted landscapes. They therefore have a force and originality of conception that place them on the level of Delacroix's landscapes of a generation earlier. This modest but important example was acquired from the painter by the greatest dealer of impressionist painting, Paul Durand-Ruel, in 1891 and sold to an amateur collector in Le Havre in 1900. Renoir himself was shy about his landscapes and refused to exhibit any in the impressionist exhibitions of 1874 and 1876. He relented only in 1877, when he showed five landscapes. This painting evidently was never exhibited in the 19th century and, perhaps for that reason, is not as well known as it deserves to be."Impressionist Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 57
AMICA ID: DMA_.1985.R.62
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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