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   Undertoad  Saturday Apr 19 12:57 PM

4/19/2003: "New" Renoir

At least subconsciously, you've probably seen all the famous Renoirs, but you haven't seen this one. It's called "Dans les Roses", painted in 1882 and it hasn't been seen in 65 years.

It'll be auctioned next month and is expected to go for about $25 million.

Apparently this work was commissioned by the model's husband, but when he saw this he rejected it because it was "too modern". Renoir then did a more traditional portrait. That one is in the Art Institute of Chicago. I found an image of it, not a simple task, and I think this is the first time on the Internet that these two have been directly compared.

Clearly the husband was a moron.

This, in turn, puts me in the mind of the best episode of "Cheers" ever. Perhaps the best 15 minutes of episodic TV ever. It was an early season finale, when guest star Christopher Lloyd plays a brilliant modern painter, suddenly compelled to paint Diane. Sam forbids her to sit for him, but she does anyway. In the final act, Sam and Diane argue over it for ten minutes, Diane storms off in a huff, then Sam finally takes his first look at the painting and is taken aback in awe... fade to black.

Diane: Do you know what the difference is between you and a fat, braying ass?
Sam: Nope.
Diane: The fat, braying ass would!

But now having made the leap from fine art to popular culture, I'll close the post before it gets too long.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Apr 19 01:44 PM

Brilliant post, UT.

I also think the husband was mistaken. But, he was paying for it and knew what he wanted. Do you know what happened to the rejected painting between then and now?

Undertoad  Saturday Apr 19 01:59 PM

The rejected painting was last displayed at the Met in 1937, and then it was taken away and held a private collection all this time.

So, to give some context, the last time this was seen in public was at about the same time color photography was introduced to the masses.

full story

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Apr 19 02:10 PM

Thanks for the link. It says the husband was an art collector Probably wanted a traditional Renoir painting more than a portriat of his wife. Well, he got both, but I still think he picked the wrong one.

Torrere  Saturday Apr 19 02:10 PM


That is an absolutely awesome painting! I'm going to have to go check out Renoir again.

tw  Saturday Apr 19 08:42 PM

Back then they used corsets. Today we use implants and LA Weight Loss. Same result.

BTW, any chance of getting a better resolution image? Something to make a better counterfeit. Sooner would mean a higher market price.

juju  Sunday Apr 20 03:12 AM

What's so great about this painting? It's blurry, and the colors all bleed together. It's nowhere close to photorealistic!

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Apr 20 07:22 AM

The mood, texture, ambiance, warmth and 120 years for the paint to dry, juju.

richlevy  Sunday Apr 20 11:32 AM

Wow! Imagine what Renoir could have done with a Pentium 4 and a copy of Photoshop!

Degrees  Sunday Apr 20 11:33 AM

No offense, but I side with the husband

Although the rose painting *is* beautiful, if I were the husband, I would be disappointed it in. I think my wife's face is beautiful. If I were to go to the trouble to get a painter to come in and do a portrait, I would not be all that happy with the rose painting. Why? Because that painting is *not* about my wife. Its about a rose garden with a semblance of my wife sitting in it.

I don't deny that the rose painting is really pretty. Its just that if I asked for a painting of my wife, I would want the painting to be of my wife. In the second painting, her face is done very well - as the husband, I would like that one very much.

All in all, I think it worked out ok - Renoir got to keep his prettier painting (probably sold it and made some money), and the husband got what he wanted.

Whit  Sunday Apr 20 12:21 PM

     Also the plunging neckline of those outfits is more obvious in the sec... oh wait... when talking about art I'm supposed to be above that sort of thing, aren't I?
     Ummm, I'm with degrees. The first one is a better painting, but the second is a better portrait. The facial features are more prevelent and her hair is clearly visible. For the express purpose of having a pic of the wife, the second wins.

warch  Monday Apr 21 11:17 AM

Cool Iod Toad. The first painting is very modern for 1882, not only the loose brushstrokes and wild color, (it would be seen as aggressive) but also the choice to show her in modern daily wear, independently sitting (if doing the upperclass thing of attending to her writing of letters),She's living her life, and she's in a garden setting- very unusual for a portrait and probably deemed inappropriate because of the garden's association with original sin. Sounds silly now, but its chockful of the kind of uppity modern female imagery that was a threat to the "cult of true womanhood", espoused in the day. The formal portrait, still loose, but the composition is very conservative. There she is a well kept woman. At least he didnt paint her as an alegory of music or anything that goofy.

Its interesting, the photo analogy - first is the more lively snapshot, second the more sober, dignified portrait.

Undertoad  Thursday May 8 04:00 PM

Update: the "new" Renoir was bought at auction by Vegas entrepreneur and art-lover Steve Wynn, for $23.5 million. It will probably be on permanent exhibit in his Wynn Collection in Vegas. (There is a distinctly highbrow trend in Vegas for the last decade or so, believe it or not.)

Whit  Thursday May 8 04:18 PM

     23.5 million??? Damn dude, you could buy a real woman for much less than that. For that matter, if you wanted to keep it legal, you could pay a whole pack of real women to sit in a real garden all day for many, many years for less than that.
     I guess that's one of the things that makes this 'high-brow' art. It cost's more than reality.

OnyxCougar  Thursday May 8 06:45 PM

Originally posted by Undertoad
Update: the "new" Renoir was bought at auction by Vegas entrepreneur and art-lover Steve Wynn, for $23.5 million. It will probably be on permanent exhibit in his Wynn Collection in Vegas. (There is a distinctly highbrow trend in Vegas for the last decade or so, believe it or not.)

I live in Vegas, and yes, they are trying to "culture-fy" us. Steve Wynn's collection is quite extensive, and in addition to the travelling exhibition collections that appear at the Guggenheim (at the Venetian), Bellagio, Mirage, Caesar's and other "highbrow" casinos, the Wynn Collection (housed in the ex-Desert Inn) is doing a passable job at returning a "wee bit o' class" to the city.

Undertoad  Thursday May 8 07:16 PM

We went to that Guggenheim when we were there last November, and it was excellent.

In general, the casino entrances are seeming less tacky and more truly beautiful, especially the crafted glass ceiling at Bellagio. The place truly is getting class.

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