Pierre Auguste Renoir

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Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1841-1919

Etude pour une Baigneuse. Study for a Nude.

Circa 1893

Original drypoint in black ink. c. 1893. Signed with the artist's stamp signature (see Lugt - Collection Marks no 2137a). From the first issued edition of 525 impressions on velin Tenté paper. Edition printed by Louis Fort for Renoir c. 1908. Edition first issued by Vollard Paris 1918 to accompany the album: 'Tableaux Pastels et Dessins de Renoir'. Ref: Delteil - Renoir Peintre Graveur no 16. Excellent tonal impression.

On pale cream wove paper. Excellent condition; the very faintest trace of old mounting. Full margins. Sheet: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4ins. Plate: 8 3/4 x 6 5/8ins (222x168mm).


'Etude pour une Baigneuse' is one of Renoir's most beautiful studies of the nude. It epitomises his ideas about modelling in terms of light rather than contour. The emphasis is the interaction between the form of the figure and the surrounding light and shade, rather than on the definition of the shape itself. The plate is worked in drypoint. This was the medium which Renoir used for his first prints, probably introduced to it by Berthe Morisot, the mother of his favourite model Julie Manet, and by Mary Cassatt. Like them Renoir found that it allowed him to work the plate with a directness and a freedom which was an extension of his drawing in pencil. The delicate lines, and the tonality which the ink creates in the roughness of the drypoint stroke, create a combination of form and light which perfectly echoed his artistic ideas.


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