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Sketches of Heads (The Berard Children)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841–1919

Sketches of Heads (The Berard Children)

1881

At first glance, this painting may seem like an unfinished sketch. The children do not occupy a cohesive space, and some appear more than once. Renoir, however, considered it finished, and exhibited it in 1883. He painted several portraits of his friend and patron Paul Berard, his wife Marguerite, and their four children. This portrait’s unusual format suggests that instead of asking the children to pose formally, Renoir painted them reading, sleeping, or otherwise occupied during one of his stays at the Berard country estate.

Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 24 5/8 x 32 1/4 in. (62.6 x 81.9 cm) Frame: 33 1/4 x 39 9/16 in. (84.5 x 100.5 cm)
Object Number 1955.590
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark before 1955
Status Off View

Image Caption

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sketches of Heads (The Berard Children), 1881, oil on canvas. Clark Art Institute, 1955.590

Bibliography

Néret, Gilles. Renoir: Painter of Happiness 18411919. Cologne: Taschen GmbH, 2001. Conforti, Michael, et al. The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exhibition catalogue. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven: distributed by Yale University Press, 2006. Paris: Galerie Durand-Ruel.. P. A. Renoir.. April 1-25 1883.. Institut Français, St. Petersburg.. Exposition Centenniale de l'Art Française.. 1900.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.. Exhibit Six: Impressionist Paintings.. Opened Sept. 18, 1956.. Wildenstein & Company. An Exhibition of Treasures from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Paintings, drawings & rare silver, for the benefit of the Committee to Rescue Italian Art, inc. (CRIA). Exhibition catalogue. New York: Wildenstein & Company, 1967. London: Hayward Gallery (Arts Council of Great Britain).. Renoir. Jan. 30-April 21, 1985; Grand Palais, Paris, May 14-Sept. 2, 1985; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Oct. 9, 1985-Jan. 5, 1986. Catalogue by John House. Kern, Steven, et al. A Passion for Renoir: Sterling and Francine Clark Collect, 19161951. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1996 Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada. Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age. June 27-Sept. 14, 1997; Art Institute of Chicago, Oct. 17, 1997-Jan. 4, 1998; Kimbell Art Museum, Feb. 8-April 26, 1998. (Exh. cat. by Colin Bailey et al.). National Gallery of Canada and Yale University Press, London.. Baltimore Museum of Art. Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from American Collections. Oct. 10, 1999-Jan. 30, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 15-May 7, 2000; Cleveland Museum of Art, May 28-July 30, 2000.(Cat. by Sona Johnston.). Baltimore Museum of Art and Rizzoli International Publications.. 1999.. Théodore Duret, tr. by J. E. C. Flitch.. Manet and the French Impressionists, 2nd ed.. London: G. Richard.. 1912.. Maurice Bérard.. Une famille du Dauphiné, les Bérards.. Paris.. 1937.. Maurice Bérard.. "Renoir à Wargemont et la famille Bérard.". 19:8.. Maîtres du XIXe siècle, l'amour et l'art, Paris.. (Oct. 1938).. Maurice Bérard. Renoir à Wargemont.. Paris: Larose.. 1939. Maurice Bérard.. "Un diplomate ami de Renoir.". Revue d'histoire diplomatique, Paris.. July-Sept. 1956.. . Gadfly.. The Great Books Foundation.. 1957.. Young, Mahonri Sharp. "Infinite Variety." Letter from the U.S.A. Apollo 85, no. 63 (May 1967): 38183. Elda Fezzi.. L'opera complete di Renoir, nel periodo impressionista 1869-1883.. Milan: Rizzoli.. 1972.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1970. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1972. François Daulte.. Gli Impressionisti: Auguste Renoir.. Milan: Fratelli Fabri.. 1972.. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1984. White, Barbara Ehrlich. Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters. New York: Abrams, 1984. Suzanne G. Lindsay.. Mary Cassatt and Philadelphia (exh.cat.). Philadelphia Museum of Art.. 1985.. Robert Rosenblum.. The Romantic Child from Runge to Sendak.. London: Thames and Hudson.. 1988.. Sophie Monneret.. Renoir.. Paris: Editions Chêne.. 1989.. Kern, Steven, ed. List of Paintings in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1992. Kathleen Adler.. "Renoir's Portrait of Albert Cahen d'Anvers.". J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 23 (1995), pp. 31-40.. Druick, Douglas. Renoir: Artists in Focus.. Chicago, IL: The Art Institute of Chicago.. 1997. François Daulte.. Auguste Renoir, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint.. Paris: Durand-Ruel.. 1971.. Benjamin, Roger. Renoir and Algeria. February 16-May 11, 2003; Dallas Museum of Art, June 8-August 31, 2003; Institut du Monde Arabe, October 6, 2003-January 18, 2004. Yale University Press and Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. 2003. Dumas, Ann and John Collins. Renoir's Women. The Columbus Museum of Art, September 23, 2005- January 15, 2006. London and New York: Merrell. 2005. Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.


EUROPEAN PAINTINGS CATALOGUE ENTRY

Provenance

Paul Berard, father of the sitters, Wargemont and Paris (1881–1905; his sale, Georges Petit, Paris, 8 May 1905, no. 16, ill., as Les Enfants, sold to Pra); Albert Pra, Paris (1905–38; his sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 17 June 1938, no. 52, ill., as Têtes d’enfants, sold to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York, sold to Clark, 30 June 1938, as Têtes d’enfants]; Robert Sterling Clark (1938–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

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