Snow-covered Landscape

Paysage de neige

Renoir produced several snowscapes during his career, but unlike the other Impressionist painters such as Monet (1840-1926), Pissarro (1830-1903) and Sisley (1839-1899), it was not a subject he returned to repeatedly. In fact, according to Ambroise Vollard, the painter declared "I have never coped with the cold; so as far as winter landscapes go, there is just this one painting… I remember two or three small studies as well." Snow-covered Landscape is one of the small studies to which he was referring. There was heavy snow in the winter of 1874-1875, and it was probably in early 1875 that Renoir produced this small painting. The painter’s technique has led some to suggest that this painting was reworked after having been initially painted in situ. In the background of this composition, across fields covered in snow and surrounded by high hedges, we can glimpse houses bathed in pale winter sunlight. The snow does not cover the whole landscape, but wherever it does, Renoir takes the opportunity to experiment with Impressionist painting techniques and to focus in particular on observing the light and the coloured shadows. The painting in fact enables the artist to demonstrate that snow is not white, contrary to what is commonly thought, but reflects all the colours of the objects that surround it. This painting, acquired by the art dealer and collector Paul Guillaume, had previously belonged to the famous art dealer Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939).

Provenance: Ambroise vollard (?); Paul Guillaume (1930); Domenica Walter