Published : 2013-08-26 20:03
Updated : 2013-08-26 20:03
NEW YORK (AFP) ― A mass of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s personal items will be auctioned in New York next month in what is billed as the biggest collection of the French Impressionist artist’s memorabilia.
The Renoir Estate Collection of 143 lots is set to be sold on Sept. 19, for an estimated $3 million.
The sale includes 20 original sculptural plaster maquettes created during Renoir’s final years with the help of a young assistant, Richard Guino, at the painter’s Les Collettes home in the southeastern French city of Cagnes-sur-Mer.
The maquettes were produced after arthritis nearly crippled Renoir’s hands, forcing him to have assistants tie a paintbrush to his right hand.
Renoir’s signature polka-dot scarf, his marriage certificate and letters written to him from friends and contemporaries such as Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Auguste Rodin will also be put under the hammer.
The artist died in 1919 and the collection was purchased from his grandson in 2005.
“This museum-level collection is superb in its completeness and reveals volumes about the man and his art,” said Brian Roughton, managing director of fine art at Heritage Auctions.
“It touches every corner of his life and represents the last time this collection will appear assembled ever again.”
Heritage Auctions estimates the top lot will be a 1.8-meter plaster model of Renoir’s sculpture “The Great Victorious Venus.”
The auctioneers are also offering “Coco,” a bust of Renoir’s youngest son Claude and one of the only plaster maquettes the artist produced himself.
The memorabilia includes an American Medal of Honor awarded to Renoir in 1883 and a sugar bowl thrown and painted with his son Jean as he recuperated from World War I injuries at Les Collettes.