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In 1879 Renoir became a friend of the banker and diplomat Paul Bérard and his wife Marguerite. He painted portraits, still lifes and landscapes for them, and visited them both in Paris and in their chateau in Wargemont, where he painted the large picture of their daughters Marguerite, Lucie, and Marthe. Over a period of years he also painted them individually; but here the subjects are distanced from the viewer by being “arranged” as a genre piece — in the spirit of a convention going back over the centuries. The girls’ faces are consciously juxtaposed as profile, three-quarter view, and front view. The work’s precise linearity perfectly reflects the artist’s “classicizing” phase, as does the shadowless intermingling of transparent tones, cool on the left and colorful on the right. The many different patterns, as on a Japanese woodcut, underline the unity of the picture surface.

Details

  • Title: Children's Afternoon at Wargemont
  • Creator: Auguste Renoir
  • Date Created: 1884
  • Physical Dimensions: w173.0 x h127.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • original title: L'après-midi des enfants à Wargemont
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A I 969
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Auguste Renoir was an important French Impressionist painter. In 1862 he started his artistic education under Charles Gleyre in Paris where he met Claude Monet among others. He undertook a number of study journeys in his life: travelling to Algeria in 1881 because he associated the country with Eugène Delacroix, to Madrid where he saw the compositions of Diego Velázquez, and Italy where he studied the masterpieces of Titian and Raphael. He also spent some time in England, where he dedicated himself to painting the landscape of the Channel Islands in 1883. After his marriage in 1890 his everyday family life and own family members served him as subjects for his works. During his later years he also created sculptures. His early works demonstrated the deep impact of Eugène Delacroix’s choice of palette as well as Camille Corot’s luminosity. He was also fascinated by the realism of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet. He later adopted the Impressionistic technique of painting outdoors. However, he broke with the movement and used a more disciplined style in portraying. His compositions are characterized by vibrant lights and a focus on people. One of his main themes was the female nude. Renoir became famous for such artworks as 'Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette' (1876) and 'The Swing' (1876).
  • Artist Place of Death: Cagnes, France
  • Artist Place of Birth: Limoges, France
  • Artist Dates: 1841-02-15/1919-12-03

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