Perhaps the most beautiful bather by Pierre-Auguste Renoir remaining in private hands is to be auctioned at Christie's London this month. The 12,000,000 to 18,000,000 pound estimate, while significant, does not seem excessively high to me given the prices fetched recently for first-rate canvases by postwar artists such as Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mark Rothko. While I have nothing at all against these artists, I think the art market has slighted Renoir somewhat. Who would think lush, sunlit female nudes by a master of French Impressionism could ever be in the least out of fashion?
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
signed and dated 'Renoir.88.' (upper right)
oil on canvas
26 x 21½ in. (66 x 54.6 cm.)