Wheatfield

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Campo de trigo

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste

Limoges, 1841 - Cagnes-sur-Mer, 1919

Wheatfield ,1879

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Signed & dated lower right: ''Renoir 79''.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.

Oil on canvas

50,5 x 61 cm

CTB.1961.11

Artwork history

  • Durand-Ruel, París, January 6, 1881, (adquired at the artist by 300 francs; n.º inv.: 728; back label).

  • Jules Féder, París, March 18, 1881, (adquired at Durand-Ruel, París)

  • Durand-Ruel, París, January 19, 1883, (adquired at Jules Féder by 600 francs; n.º inv.: 2733)

  • Durand-Ruel, New York, April 1888, (photo Durand-Ruel New York: A 728)

  • Mr. Catholina Lambert

  • Durand-Ruel, New York, April 14, 1899, (adquired at Mr. Catholina Lambert; n.º inv.: NY 2207)

  • James A. Viles, January 4, 1903, (adquired at Durand-Ruel, New York)

  • Durand-Ruel, New York, June 26, 1939, (consigned by James A. Viles; deposit n.: 9473; back label)

  • Durand-Ruel, New York, Spetember 15, 1939, (adquired at James A. Viles; inv. n.: 5455)

  • Stanley Newbold Barbee, Septembre 15, 1939, (adquired at Durand-Ruel, New York)

  • Paul Rosenberg, New York, c. 1954

  • Stanley N. Barbee, L.A. (California)

  • Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, 1961

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

1882

7e Exposition des Artistes Independants, París, 251, Rue Saint-Honoré (Salons du Panorama de Reischoffen), fuera de catálogo

1954

Nineteenth- Century French Painters, Nueva York, Paul Rosenberg Gallery, n. 14

1990

Impressionismo e Postimpressionismo. Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza / Impressionismus und Postimpressionismus. Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 21, p. 57

1997

Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell'apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 84, p. 222

1997

Del vedutismo a las primeras vanguardias. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, n. 41, p. 146

1998 - 1999

Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Tokio, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Takaoka, Takaoka Art Museum; Nagoya, Matsuzaka Art Museum; Sendai, Miyagi Museum of Art, n. 60, p. 138

1999

Do impresionismo ó fauvismo: A pintura do cambio de século en París. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Santiago de Compostela, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, n. 17, p. 62

1999 - 2000

Del impresionismo a la vanguardia en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Barcelona, Centre Cultural Caixa Catalunya, p. 56

2000

De Corot a Monet. Los orígenes de la pintura moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, Museo del Siglo XIX, p. 194

2016 - 2017

Renoir. Intimidad. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. October 18, 2016- January 22, 2017.Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. February 7- May 15, 2017. n. 39. pp. 133.

  • -Fezzi, E.: L’opera completa di Renoir nel periodo impressionista, 1869-1883. Milán, Rizzoli, 1972. Classici dell’arte; vol. 59, n. 391, p. 106, lám.

  • Whitfield, Sarah: Impressionismo e Postimpressionismo. Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Exhib. Cat. p. Lugano, Villa Favorita]. Lugano, Fondazione Thyssen-Bornemisza – Milán, Electa, 1990. [Ed. al. e ing.] , p. 57 [Sheet by Whitfield]

  • Del vedutismo a las primeras vanguardias: obras maestras de la Coleccion Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Llorens Serra, Tomàs (ed.). [Exhib. Cat. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao]. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1997, n. 40, p. 144. [Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 36, lám. p. 37 [ Sheet by Isabelle Cahn]

  • Colin B. Bailey … [et al.]: Renoir Landscapes 1865 – 1883. [Exhib. Cat. London, The National Gallery; Ottawa, The National Gallery; Filadelfia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2007-2008]. London, National Gallery, 2007 , n. 44, pp. 196-198, lám. p. 197 [Sheet by Colin B. Bailey]

  • -Borobia, Mar y Alarcó, Paloma (eds.): Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Obras escogidas. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2011, p. 176, lám. p. 177.

  • -Alarcó, P. y Borobia, M. (eds.): Guía de la colección. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2012, p. 245, lám.

  • Renoir. Intimidad. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 2016. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. n. 39. pp. 133. (Exhib. Cat.).

Expert report

Like his friend Monet, Renoir considered nature as his main studio and open air painting as the touchstone of Impressionism. Throughout his life, he painted splendid landscapes, as he found in this genre a very special enjoyment and freedom of inspiration. The majority of these views were not meant to be exhibited and were not commissioned. The artist’s sole ambition was to seize the dazzling beauty of the light, the moving mass of vegetation tinted with all the shades of his palette, the velvety horizons and pearly skies. He wished to convey in his paintings the most immaterial atmospheric feelings, to depict the beauty of the air, and nothing else.

The Impressionist technique consisting in covering the canvas with quick touches of colour suited him particularly well for painting landscapes in the open air and rendering the fleeting impressions of atmospheric phenomena. Renoir used very diluted colours, which he called “juices”, in order to represent the scenery in its large masses, sombre and bright, and willingly ignoring all descriptive details. That thin and fluid coat which left partly visible the white primer constituted the base on which the artist worked by applying brighter touches of colour. “Gradually, patches of pink or blue, then sienna, were mixed in a perfect balance”, wrote Jean Renoir in Souvenirs, his memories of his father. “[…] Finally from the mist appeared […] the landscape, a little like it would have done in a photographic plate immersed in developer”. The wheat field which takes up half of the painting is depicted like a blurred mass, punctuated here and there by pinkish white traits for the ears of wheat and touches of red and green. A group of trees counterbalances the left side of the composition, while the shaded fields in the background give a sense of depth to the perspective. By optical illusion, the trees on top of the hill reach the foliage of those bordering the wheat field, drawing an almost continuous horizontal line against the sky. The latter, painted with pale and delicate shades, suggests slightly unstable weather.

This wheat field was probably painted in the surroundings of Wargemont, near Dieppe, in Normandy, where Renoir spent the summer of 1879 in the estate of the Bérard family. There is another landscape of the same period, very similar in its style and range of colours, entitled Landscape in Wargemont, with the same sweeping brushstrokes which punctuate the composition with bright colours. There is an impression of calm about these landscapes painted at a time when Renoir had an increasing success and was commissioned many portraits. Nature appears in them in its simplest and most bucolic aspect: a ripe wheat field softly swept by a sea breeze. No picturesque detail, no anecdote troubles the majesty of the scenery.

Isabelle Cahn