Exploring the Seine

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Seine at Chatou, 1874

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Seine at Chatou (La Seine à Chatou), 1874. Oil on canvas, 20 × 25 in. Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

As early as 1869, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was exploring the banks of the Seine River west of Paris, seeking subjects for his developing Impressionist style, often painting outdoor landscapes with his friend Claude Monet. His mother lived near Louveciennes, not far from Chatou, where he would frequent the Maison Fournaise with its restaurant, lodging, and boats for hire. The Maison Fournaise would become the backdrop for his masterwork Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81), with members of the Fournaise family serving as models. In this lively rendering of a gusty day on the water, Renoir includes a sailboat, signaling in his painting the growing popularity of the sport.

Gustave Caillebotte the Yachtsman

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Gustave Caillebotte, Sailboats on the Seine at Argenteuil, 1893

Gustave Caillebotte, Sailboats on the Seine at Argenteuil (Voiliers sur la Seine à Argenteuil), 1893. Oil on canvas; 28 7⁄8 × 17 in. Private collection

Like his good friend and fellow artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte spent a significant amount of time on the Seine west of Paris painting scenes such as this one. Caillebotte was born into a family that made its money in the textile business and inherited a fortune. As a young man at his family’s country retreat on the Yerres River, he enjoyed rowing and paddling in skiffs. He eventually purchased his own property on the Seine in nearby Petit-Gennevilliers, which became a perfect base from which to participate in regattas and to develop his skills as a yachtsman. By 1879, Caillebotte owned his own sailboat, participated in regattas in Argenteuil, and had joined the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (Sailing Club of Paris); he became a vice president of the club in 1880.

Renoir depicted Caillebotte in Luncheon of the Boating Party—he is the athletic man in the lower right, dressed for boating, with the hat not of an oarsman but of a gentleman sailor, and he appears to look right past all who surround him to the boats and the river beyond the balcony. Boating scenes were ideal for the two Impressionists, in its combination of a fashionable, contemporary subject with the painterly challenge of capturing sunlit figures and the river’s reflective surface.

15 Most Viewed Artworks of 2017

We took a look at which of our permanent collection artwork web pages were visited most often during 2017; here are the top 15 pieces!

15. Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin’s A Bowl of Plums (c. 1728)

Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, A Bowl of Plums, ca. 1728. Oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 22 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1920

14. Gifford Beal’s On the Hudson at Newburgh (1918)

Gifford Beal, On the Hudson at Newburgh, 1918. Oil on canvas, 36 x 58 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1924

13. Jacob Lawrence’s Panel no. 1: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans. (1940–41)

Jacob Lawrence, Panel no. 1: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans., 1940–41, Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1942

12. Pierre Bonnard’s The Open Window (1921)

Pierre Bonnard, The Open Window, 1921. Oil on canvas, 46 1/2 x 37 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1930 © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

11. Honoré Daumier’s The Uprising (between 1848 and 1879)

Honoré Daumier, The Uprising, between 1848 and 1879. Oil on canvas, 34 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1925

Honoré Daumier, The Uprising, between 1848 and 1879. Oil on canvas, 34 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1925

10. Edouard Manet’s Spanish Ballet (1862)

Edouard Manet, Spanish Ballet, 1862. Oil on canvas, 24 x 35 5/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1928

9. Edward Hopper’s Approaching a City (1946)

Edward Hopper, Approaching a City, 1946. Oil on canvas, 27 1/8 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1947

8. Raoul Dufy’s The Opera, Paris (early 1930s)

Raoul Dufy, The Opera, Paris, early 1930s. Gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 25 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1939 © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

7. Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix’s Paganini (1831)

Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Paganini, 1831. Oil on cardboard on wood panel, 17 5/8 x 11 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1922

6. Vincent van Gogh’s Entrance to the Public Gardens in Arles (1888)

Vincent van Gogh, Entrance to the Public Gardens in Arles, 1888. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 35 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1930

5. Wassily Kandinsky’s Succession (1935)

Wassily Kandinsky, Succession, 1935. Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, Dc, Acquired 1944 © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

4. Paul Cézanne’s The Garden at Les Lauves (Le Jardin des Lauves) (ca. 1906)

Paul Cézanne, The Garden at Les Lauves (Le Jardin des Lauves), ca. 1906. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 31 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1955

3. Vincent van Gogh’s The Road Menders (1889)

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1949.

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1949

2. Pablo Picasso’s The Blue Room (1901)

Pablo Picasso, The Blue Room, 1901. Oil on canvas, 19 7/8 x 24 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927 © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Aritsts Rights Society (ARS), New York

1. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (between 1880 and 1881)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, between 1880 and 1881. Oil on canvas, 51 1/4 x 69 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1923