Bathers Renoir Analysis Essay

This work is featured in the online catalogue Renoir Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, the second volume in the Art Institute’s scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. The catalogue offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on 25 artworks by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in the museum’s collection; entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, previously unpublished technical photographs, archival materials, and documentation relating to each artwork.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Durand-Ruel, Exhibition of Paintings by Renoir, Feb. 19–Mar. 9, 1918, cat. 16, as Baigneuse assise, 1914.

Possibly New York, Durand-Ruel, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, Oct. 15–Nov. 10, 1934, cat. 27.

Museum of Modern Art Gallery of Washington (D.C.), Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Renoir, Van Gogh, Nov. 15–Dec. 5, 1937, cat. 19.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, Renoir: Later Phases, Apr. 16–May 29, 1938, no cat.

Worcester (Mass.) Art Museum, The Art of the Third Republic: French Painting, 1870–1940, Feb. 22–Mar. 16, 1941, cat. 11 (ill.).

New York, Durand-Ruel, Exhibition of Masterpieces by Renoir after 1900: For the Benefit of Children’s Aid Society, Apr. 1–25, 1942, cat. 10 (ill.).

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Art in Progress: Painting, Prints, Sculpture, May 24–Oct. 15, 1944, no cat. no. (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Masterpiece of the Month, Feb. 1946, no cat.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Paintings: 1900–1925, Feb. 2–Mar. 4, 1951, cat. 4 (ill.).

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, French Painting, 1110–1900, Oct. 18–Dec. 2, 1951, cat. 118 (ill.).

Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, L’oeuvre du XXe siecle, May–June 1952, cat. 93 (ill.); London, Tate Gallery, as Twentieth Century Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, July 15–Aug. 17, 1952 (Paris only).

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Renoir, Feb. 3–Apr. 1, 1973, cat. 84 (ill.).

London, Hayward Gallery, Renoir, Jan. 30–Apr. 21, 1985, cat. 121 (ill.); Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, May 14–Sept. 2, 1985, cat. 119 (ill.); Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Oct. 9, 1985–Jan. 5, 1986.

Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past, Oct. 16, 2007–Jan. 13, 2008, cat. 90 (ill.); Denver Art Museum, Feb. 23–May 25, 2008; Seattle Art Museum, June 19–Sept. 21, 2008.

Paris, Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Renoir au XXe siècle, Sept. 23, 2009–Jan. 4, 2010, cat. 62 (ill.); Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as Renoir in the 20th Century, Feb. 14–May 9, 2010; Philadelphia Museum of Art, as Late Renoir, June 17–Sept. 6, 2010.

Publication History

Durand-Ruel, New York, Exhibition of Paintings by Renoir, exh. cat. (Durand-Ruel, New York, 1918), p. 3, cat. 16.

Gustave Coquiot, Renoir (A. Michel, 1925), opp. p. 216 (ill.).

Possibly Durand-Ruel, New York, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, exh. cat. (Durand-Ruel, New York, 1934), cat. 27.

Edward Alden Jewell, “Gallery to Open in Capital Today,” New York Times, Nov. 14, 1937, p. 51.

Museum of Modern Art Gallery of Washington (D.C.), Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Renoir, Van Gogh, exh. cat. (Museum of Modern Art Gallery of Washington, [1937]), no. 19.

Martha Davidson, “Poetic View of the Late Renoir,” Art News 36, 31 (Apr. 30, 1938), p. 22.

Worcester Art Museum, Art of the Third Republic: French Painting, 1870–1940, exh. cat. (Worcester Art Museum, 1941), cat. 11 (ill.).

Edward Alden Jewell, “21 Renoir Works Shown as Benefit,” New York Times, Apr. 2, 1942, p. 28.

Edward Alden Jewell, “The Last Two Decades of Renoir,” New York Times, Apr. 5, 1942, p. X5 (ill.).

Durand-Ruel, New York, Exhibition of Masterpieces by Renoir after 1900: For the Benefit of Children’s Aid Society, with an essay by Lionello Venturi, exh. cat. (Durand-Ruel, New York, 1942), no. 10 (ill.).

Museum of Modern Art, New York, Art in Progress: A Survey Prepared for the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, exh. cat. (Museum of Modern Art, 1944), pp. 23 (ill.), 223.

“Chicago Perfects Its Renoir Group,” Art News 44, 16, pt. 1 (Dec. 1–14, 1945), pp. 18, 19 (ill.).

“Famous Renoir Nude Goes to Chicago.” Art Digest 20, 6 (Dec. 15, 1945), p. 6 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago, 1945), p. 36 (ill.).

Florence Hope, “A Late Renoir Recently Added to the Institute’s Collection,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 39, 7 (Dec. 1945), front cover (ill.), pp. 99, 100 (detail), 101.

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism (Museum of Modern Art/Simon & Schuster, 1946), p. 429 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, “Exhibitions,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 40, 1 (Jan. 1946), p. 2.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Exhibitions,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 40, 2, pt. 2 (Feb. 1946), p. 18.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Do You Know,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 40, 3 (Mar. 1946), p. 32.

Art Institute of Chicago, “Great Drawings and Paintings Added in 1945,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago: The Year 1945 40, 4, pt. 3 (Apr.–May 1946), p. 6 (ill.).

“Vernissage,” Art News 44, 18 (Jan. 1–14, 1946), p. 11.

“Art News of the Year,” in “Art News Annual 1946–47,” special issue, Art News 45, 10, section 2 (Dec. 1946), p. 161 (ill.).

Carnegie Institute, French Painting, 1110–1900, exh. cat. (Carnegie Institute, 1951), pl. 118.

Cincinnati Art Museum, Paintings: 1900–1925, exh. cat. (Cincinnati Art Museum, 1951), cat. 4 (ill.).

Musée National d’Art Moderne, L’oeuvre du XXe siècle, exh. cat. (Musée National d’Art Moderne, 1952), cat. 93/pl. 8.

“Youths Caught Stealing Famous Paintings in Paris,” New York Times, June 28, 1952, p. 11.

Marcelle Berr de Turique, Renoir (Phaidon, [1953]), pl. 98.

Dorothy Bridaham, Renoir in the Art Institute of Chicago (Conzett & Huber, 1954), pl. 9.

Kenneth Clark, The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art (John Murray, 1957), pp. 159; 160, ill. 123.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 398.

George Heard Hamilton, Painting and Sculpture in Europe: 1880–1940, Pelican History of Art, ed. Nikolaus Pevsner (Penguin, 1967), pp. xi; 14; pl. 4B.

Charles C. Cunningham and Satoshi Takahashi, Shikago bijutsukan [Art Institute of Chicago], Museums of the World, 32 (Kodansha, 1970), pp. 128, pl. 116; 177.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Renoir, exh. cat. (Art Institute of Chicago, 1973), pp. 27; 194–95, cat. 84 (ill.); 202; 211; 214.

A. James Speyer and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth-Century European Paintings (University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 12, 66, cat. 3E11; microfiche 3, no. E10 (ill.).

Hayward Gallery, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Renoir, exh. cat. (Arts Council of Great Britain, 1985), pp. 173, cat. 121 (ill.); 285; 286, cat. 121 (ill.); 288; 289.

Hayward Gallery, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Renoir, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 1985), pp. 348; 350–53, cat. 119 (ill. and detail); 360.

Rachel Barnes, ed., Renoir by Renoir, Artists by Themselves (Webb & Bower, 1990), pp. 72–73 (ill.). Translated into Japanese by Reiko Kokatsu as Runowaru (Renoir), Nikkei Pocket Gallery (Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 1991), pp. 78–79 (ill.), 88.

Martha Kapos, ed., The Impressionists: A Retrospective (Hugh Lauter Levin/Macmillan, 1991), p. 232, pl. 72.

Romy Golan, Modernity and Nostalgia: Art and Politics in France between the Wars (Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 19, 20–21 (ill.).

Steven Kern, “A Passion for Renoir,” in A Passion for Renoir: Sterling and Francine Clark Collect, 1916–1951, ed. Margaret Donovan, exh. cat. (Sterling and Francine Clark Institute/ Abrams, 1996), p. 24.

Douglas W. Druick, Renoir, Artists in Focus (Art Institute of Chicago/Abrams, 1997), pp. 13; 74; 77–79; 107, pl. 26; 111.

Renaud Temperini, “Estetiche della modernità,” in La pittura Francese, vol. 3, ed. Pierre Rosenberg, trans. Cosima Campagnolo, Valentina Palombi, and Stefano Salpietro (Electra, 1999), p. 821.

Gilles Néret, Renoir: Painter of Happiness, 1841–1919, trans. Josephine Bacon (Taschen, 2001), pp. 340 (ill.), 341 (detail), 342.

Aviva Burnstock, Klass Jan van den Berg, and John House, “Painting Techniques of Pierre-Auguste Renoir: 1868–1919,” Art Matters: Netherlandish Technical Studies in Art 3 (2005), p. 52.

Markus Schöb, “Femme s’essuyant,” in Kunstmuseum Winterthur: Katalog der Gemälde und Skulpturen, vol. 2, ed. Dieter Schwarz (Kunstmuseum Wintherthur/Richter, 2008), pp. 60, 61 (ill.).

Ann Dumas, “Old Art into New: The Impressionists and the Reinvention of Tradition,” in Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past, ed. Ann Dumas, exh. cat. (Denver Art Museum/Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 71; 74–75, cat. 90 (ill.).

Ann Dumas, ed., Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past, exh. cat. (Denver Art Museum/Yale University Press, 2007), p. 261.

Jon Kear, The Treasures of the Impressionists (Andre Deutch/Carlton Books, 2008), p. 56 (ill.).

Anne Distel, Renoir (Citadelles & Mazenod, 2009), p. 366, ill. 324.

Adrien Goetz, Comment Regarder . . . Renoir (Hazan, 2009), pp. 168–69 (ill).

Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir au XXe siècle, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d’Orsay, 2009), pp. 296–97; 301, cat. 62 (ill.).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir in the 20th Century, with essays by Roger Benjamin, Guy Cogeval, Claudia Einecke, Isabelle Gaëtan, et al., exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Philadelphia Museum of Art/Hatje Cantz, 2010), pp. 296–97; 301, cat. 62 (ill.).

Laurence Madeline, “Picasso 1917–1924: Une crise ‘renoirienne,’” in Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir au XXe siècle, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d’Orsay, 2009), p. 128.

Laurence Madeline, “Picasso 1917 to 1924: A ‘Renoirian’ Crisis,” in Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir in the 20th Century, with essays by Roger Benjamin, Guy Cogeval, Claudia Einecke, Isabelle Gaëtan, et al., exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Philadelphia Museum of Art/Hatje Cantz, 2010), p. 128.

Sylvie Patry, “‘On doit faire la peinture de son temps,’” in Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir au XXe siècle, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d’Orsay, 2009), p. 360.

Sylvie Patry, “‘One Must Do the Painting of One’s Time,’” in Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir in the 20th Century, with essays by Roger Benjamin, Guy Cogeval, Claudia Einecke, Isabelle Gaëtan, et al., exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Philadelphia Museum of Art/Hatje Cantz, 2010), p. 360.

Sylvie Patry, “Renoir et la décoration, ‘un plaisir sans pareil,’” in Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir au XXe siècle, exh. cat. (Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d’Orsay, 2009), pp. 55.

Sylvie Patry, “Renoir and Decorative Art: ‘A Pleasure without Compare,’” in Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Renoir in the 20th Century, with essays by Roger Benjamin, Guy Cogeval, Claudia Einecke, Isabelle Gaëtan, et al., exh. cat. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Philadelphia Museum of Art/Hatje Cantz, 2010), p. 56.

Thomas Schlesser, “Renoir et sa dernière manière, les figures,” in “Renoir au XXe siècle: Exposition aux Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais,” ed. Jeanne Faton-Boyancé, special issue, L’estampille l’object d’art 46 (2009), p. 48 (ill.).

Martha Lucy and John House, Renoir in the Barnes Foundation (Barnes Foundation/Yale University Press, 2012), p. 181, fig. 1.

Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. 5, 1911–1919 & Ier supplément (Bernheim-Jeune, 2014), pp. 387–88, cat. 4280 (ill.).

“Cat. 25: Seated Bather, 1914,” in Renoir Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Gloria Groom and Jill Shaw (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014).

Ownership History

Placed on deposit by the artist with Durand-Ruel, Paris, Aug. 1914. [1]

Sold by the artist jointly to Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, Ambroise Vollard, Paris, and Durand-Ruel, Paris, Aug. 2, 1917. [2]

All shares transferred from Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, and Ambroise Vollard, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, Paris, Oct. 2, 1917. [3]

Sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb. 23, 1945. [4]

NOTES

[1] According to Hayward Gallery, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Renoir, exh. cat. (Arts Council of Great Britain, 1985), p. 286.

[2] According to the Bernheim-Jeune & Cie Archives; see Guy-Patrice Dauberville to the Art Institute of Chicago, Apr. 27, 2001, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. See also Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. 5, 1911–1919 & Ier supplément (Bernheim-Jeune, 2014), pp. 387–88, cat. 4280 (ill.).

[3] According to the Bernheim-Jeune & Cie Archives; see Camille Frémontier-Murphy to the Art Institute of Chicago, June 22, 2001, curatorial object file, Art Institute of Chicago. According to Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir: Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, pastels, dessins et aquarelles, vol. 5, 1911–1919 & Ier supplément (Bernheim-Jeune, 2014), pp. 387–88, cat. 4280 (ill.), “Durand-Ruel, Paris (racheté le 2 octobre 1917).”

[4] See records of the Board of Trustees, Feb. 23, 1945, pp. 77–78, on file in Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

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