ENFANTS JOUANT A LA BALLE

ENFANTS JOUANT A LA BALLE

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
ENFANTS JOUANT A LA BALLE
lithograph
1898

An original Pierre-Auguste Renoir lithograph print.

(Children Playing with a Ball)

1898

Original lithograph printed in ten colors (two tones of blue, yellow, ochre, brown, three tones of rust-red, pale green, black) on Ingres d’Arches laid paper bearing the “MBM” watermark. 

Signed on the stone lower right Renoir

A superb, richly printed impression of the only state, from the edition of 200 (there were also a few proof impressions printed in black ink only).  Commissioned by Ambroise Vollard in 1898, issued in 1900; printed by Auguste Clot. 

Catalog: Delteil 32; Roger-Marx 7; Leymarie & Melot 31; Stella 32.

23 x 19 inches

Sheet Size: 35 5/8 x 24 inches

“Enfants jouant a la balle” was the last of the four lithographs in color which Renoir drew for Vollard at the end of the 1890’s.  As for the previous three (“Baigneuse debout en pied,” “L’enfant au biscuit” and “Le chapeau epingle”) he worked on the stones in the studio of the printer Auguste Clot.  By this time Renoir’s real gifts in lithography were fully developed, and he understood clearly the richness of color tone and the contrasts of light which juxtapositions of pure ink color and overprinting could create.  The result was one of the most sought-after masterworks of Impressionist lithography.  Dr. Joseph Stella, the most recent cataloguer of Renoir’s graphic works, in his catalogue raisonne states that "This lithograph (is) considered by many to be Renoir’s best . . ."
The children in the composition are most certainly Renoir’s own, Jean and Claude (still dressed in girl’s clothes as was then the custom) together with Julie Manet and her cousin Paulette Gobillard.

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