Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Bathing on the Seine (La Grenouillere). 1869

The artist's earliest work in the Museum collection shows one of the Parisians' favourite haunts for enjoying their leisure, the island of Croissy. Well-known for its bathing hunts and small restaurants, the island is described in stories by Guy de Maupassant. Parisians referred to the place ironically as the 'froggery' ('grenouille' being French from 'frog'). In the late 1860s Renoir often went there with Claude Monet to paint plein-air studies. The artist shows Parisians strolling along the bank, bathers, and sailing boats gliding over the water. His small vibrating brushstrokes merely intimate the figures of people, the green of the trees and the glinting sunlight in the water. The patches of colour merge to form a single light and transparent gamma.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

1841–1919