This late work is a very freely painted study of the many olive trees in Renoir’s property, Les Collettes, at Cagnes-sur-Mer. The ground shows through in many places and the quick strokes of blue and white delineating the sky and clouds suggest that the painting was made in a single quick session, as a notation of a particular effect. Renoir loved the light and colour of the South of France, and it was only after the turn of the twentieth century that he believed he was finally finding a way to depict its radiance. This work might have served as an aide-memoire for a larger painting, but it is interesting in its own right in showing us an aspect of Renoir’s practice, that of using paint to make small sketches.
Oil painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). View item page >