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Dickinson to offer a museum-quality Renoir, Au Bord de l’Eau, at TEFAF 2016
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Au Bord de l’Eau, 1885.

LONDON.- Dickinson gallery of London and New York will offer Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1885 Impressionist masterpiece Au Bord de l’Eau at TEFAF 2016.

A museum-quality work of prestigious provenance, depicting one of the most popular Impressionist motifs, that has not been on the market for almost a century.

Conceived en plein air along the banks of the Seine near Renoir’s residence at La Roche-Guyon, Au Bord de l’Eau demonstrates the rich, sensuous style and vibrant palette of Renoir’s most celebrated boating scenes of the 1880s. It betrays the lessons learned during his 1881 travels to Italy, his 1884 visit – together with Monet – to Cézanne’s home in L’Estaque; and of his admiration of the rococo fantasies of Watteau and Fragonard. Yet Renoir’s ultimate source of inspiration was the landscape itself; in his unpublished treatise entitled “Grammar of Art”, dating from around the same time, he declared: “Any individual wishing to make art must be inspired solely by works of nature. He must love her more than the most beautiful mistress and feast his spirit and eyes upon her like a glutton.”

This painting, making its debut on the open market for the first time in nearly a century, is all the more desirable for its prestigious provenance. Au Bord de l’Eau was owned by Ambroise Vollard, a close friend of Renoir’s and early champion of the Impressionists, and then exhibited in November 1920 at the Paris gallery of Paul Durand-Ruel, an equally successful dealer in Impressionist works. Au Bord de l’Eau can be seen in a contemporary photograph of Durand-Ruel’s 1920 posthumous retrospective exhibition staged in honour of Renoir (29 Nov. – 18 Dec. 1920), who had died the previous year. It was there that Frank and Alice Osborn, the American collectors, spotted and admired the work, which they purchased on December 21st at the close of the show. The Osborns bequeathed their substantial collection – which also featured works by Cézanne and Bonnard – to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Au Bord de l’Eau remained in the museum’s Impressionist galleries from 1966 until it was deaccessioned to raise funds for their Hendrik Goltzius Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus would Freeze. In a sale negotiated through the Beadleston Gallery in 1993, Au Bord de l’Eau entered a private American collection where it has remained for the past 23 years.

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