Renoir's personal items coming to NYC auction
In this photo made Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, Brian Roughton, managing director of fine art at the Heritage Auctions, opens a case displaying items from the personal archives of artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Dallas. The French artist's personal archive will be up for sale in New York City in September. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
NEW YORK (AP) — Billed as the single-largest archive of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's personal property, an upcoming auction of hundreds of personal letters, photos and other memorabilia offers a candid look inside the master painter's life as an artist, loving husband and devoted father.
The Renoir Estate Collection is set to be sold in New York on Sept. 19 as 143 lots. Heritage Auctions has estimated its value at $3 million.
In addition, the sale includes 19 original sculptural plaster models, or maquettes, created during Renoir's twilight years between 1913 and 1918 with the help of a young assistant, Richard Guino.
This photo made Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, shows the last painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir titled Les Bécasses (The Woodcocks), 1919, now on display at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The painting is part of the French artist's personal archive that will be up for sale in New York City in September. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A consummate artist who painted every day of his life, Renoir died in 1919. His personal archive remained with his heirs until 2005 when his grandson Paul offered it for sale as a single lot at a Maryland auction where it was purchased by the current owner.
"It is a gold mine," said Virginie Journiac, an art historian and former curator of the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, in the south of France. "These personal Renoir pieces will be seen for the last time as a unique collection unless a single buyer is able to purchase all the lots."
Other objects in the sale include Renoir's polka-dotted silk scarf, marriage license and a notebook full of critic's reviews. There are letters from his contemporaries Claude Monet and Edouard Manet; his Legion of Honor medals; hundreds of glass-plate negatives; and documents relating to the construction of Les Collettes, his estate at Cagnes-sur-Mer.