Femme Nue Couchée (Tournée à Droite), 2e planche

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Femme Nue Couchée (Tournée à Droite), 2e planche

An original Pierre-Auguste Renoir Etching.


Original etching printed in sanguine on Japan paper.

A fine impression of Delteil and Stella’s only state of this very scarce version of this etching From the deluxe edition of the Théodore Duret book L’Histoire des Peintres-Impressionnistes, published by Floury, Paris, 1906 (apart from the editions in black ink issued later in 1909 and 1923)

Catalog: Delteil 14; Stella 14

Platemark: 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches Sheet: 8 x 10 1/4 inches

The theme of Femme nue couchée, derived from classical art and above all a deliberate reinterpretation of the eighteenth-century compositions of such artists as Watteau and Boucher, was one which was of considerable importance to Renoir. Besides the painting and drawing using this subject he also made three etchings of it. The version above is the second of the three, using a bitten etched line.

Renoir chose the theme of the “reclining nude” because through it he could emphasize the idea that art at his period was about the expression of reality, and reality linked to everyday life. Thus, whereas Watteau’s and Boucher’s nudes had been society women in poses of artificial elegance, and indeed provocation, so the Impressionist nude, including those of Renoir, was a real everyday woman just momentarily captured in a state of relaxation. The handling of the light, the line and the atmosphere were all used to achieve that end, an end beautifully expressed in this etching.