Renoir’s Wall Power: Painting Large as an Impressionist, by Colin B. Bailey. Between 1874 and 1885 Renoir—unlike other Impressionists—produced large-scale works in both full-length and horizontal formats in which he explored the grandeur of Parisian life, leisure, and fashion. This lecture places these ambitious and iconic works in context and discusses some of the discoveries and insights gleaned during the preparation of the exhibition Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting."
Dr. Colin B. Bailey
Colin B. Bailey is Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator of The Frick Collection. He previously served as Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and has held a variety of posts at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu. He holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Bailey is responsible for an impressive list of catalogues and books, among them Watteau to Degas: French Drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection (2009); Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-1780) (2007); Renoir Landscapes, 1865-1883 (2007); and The Age of Watteau, Chardin and Fragonard: Masterpieces of 18th-Century French Genre Painting (2003). In 2004 he was the winner of the Mitchell Prize for the History of Art in the best art book category for his critically acclaimed Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris. Dr. Bailey's latest monograph, Fragonard's Progress of Love at The Frick Collection, was published in 2011. He has taught graduate seminars in eighteenth-century French art at Bryn Mawr College, Columbia University, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1994 and was promoted to Officier in 2010.
Dr. Colin B. Bailey, Deputy Director
and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator of The Frick Collection, discusses the
surprising facts that were discovered when Renoir’s “La Promenade” was
examined using infrared reflectography. He explains that while
praised as “partisans of unadorned reality,” looking under the surface
painting unearthed some revealing alterations.
(born Feb. 25, 1841, Limoges, Francedied Dec. 3, 1919, Cagnes) French painter. His father, a tailor in Limoges, moved with his large family to Paris in 1844. Renoir began working as a decorator of porcelain at 13 and studied painting at night. He formed a close friendship with his fellow student Claude Monet and became a leading member of the Paris Impressionists. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By using small, multicoloured strokes, Renoir evoked the vibration of the atmosphere, the sparkling effect of foliage, and especially the luminosity of a young woman's skin in the outdoors. Because of his fascination with the human figure, he was distinctive among the others, who were more interested in landscape. Among his early masterpieces are Le Moulin de la Galette (1876) and The Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881). A visit to Italy (188182) introduced him to Raphael and the expressive force of clear line and smooth painting, and by the mid 1880s he had broken with Impressionism to employ a more disciplined, formal technique. In works such as Bathers (188487), he emphasized volume, form, contours, and line. In his later works, he departed from the strict rules of Classicism to paint colourful still lifes, portraits, nudes, and landscapes of southern France, where he settled in 1907. Rheumatism confined him to a wheelchair by 1912 but he never ceased to paint, even though often with his brush attached to his hand. The filmmaker Jean Renoir was his son.