Renoir in the Barnes Foundation John House, Martha Lucy

Publication date:
05 Jun 2012
Yale University Press
392 pages: 305 x 241mm
535 color illus.
Sales territories:

The Barnes Foundation is home to the world's largest collection of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Dr. Albert C. Barnes, a Philadelphia scientist who made his fortune in pharmaceuticals, established the Foundation in 1922 in Merion, Pennsylvania, as an educational institution devoted to the appreciation of the fine arts. A passionate supporter of European modernism, Barnes built a collection that was virtually unrivaled, with massive holdings by Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. It was Renoir that Barnes admired above all other artists, however; he thought of him as a kind of god. Barnes collected Renoir tenaciously, amassing 181 works by the painter between 1912 and 1942, and all of these are included in this lavishly illustrated book.

Renoir in the Barnes Foundation tells the fascinating story of Barnes' obsession with the impressionist master's late works, while offering illuminating new scholarship on the works themselves. Authors Martha Lucy and John House look closely at the key paintings in the collection, placing them in the wider contexts of contemporary artistic, aesthetic, and theoretical debates. The first volume to publish the entirety of Barnes' astonishing Renoir collection, "Renoir in the Barnes Foundation" is also an engaging study of the artist's critical - and often contested - role in the development of modern art.

John House was emeritus professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Martha Lucy is associate curator at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and Merion.

'This book […] is a milestone in bettering our understanding of the important part played by late Renoir in the history of modern art.' Augustin De Butler, Burlington Magazine

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