Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (France, 1841–1919)
Oil on canvas
11 x 10 in.
Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000
Although Pierre-Auguste Renoir was widely esteemed as one of the fathers of Impressionism, he believed he had exhausted its possibilities by the early 1880s and began a close study of the Old Masters. He looked especially to the examples of Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jean-Antoine Watteau for guidance and developed from his study a vivid palette and feathery, downy brushwork. Renoir considered his work of this period some of his best, claiming in 1913 that “I’m starting to know how to paint.” He turned again to floral still lifes in part because rheumatoid arthritis had begun to restrict his movement around the turn of the twentieth century. His Chrysanthemums belongs to this later period of his career. Renoir painted floral arrangements largely drawn from the blossoms around his home at Cagnes-sur-Mer in southern France.