Renoir chose to live in the Midi region of Southern France from the 1900s onwards. He took up residence in Le Cannet and Cagnes-sur-Mer, where he built a house in 1908. He painted the Midi in numerous still lifes, often opting for a long format as in this case.
Despite his failing health which forced him to work while seated, Renoir's paintings continued to be filled with joy. This delicious small format canvas has been painted with great care. The strawberries are portrayed with great accuracy. The objects and fruits with their different forms and textures are laid out one after the other on the white tablecloth covered in creases. And yet the composition is not monotone. It is brought to life by the butter knife set down on the tablecloth in the bottom left and the handle of the teaspoon sticking out from the jar of sugar, as well as the leaves on the strawberries. The rounded form of the sugar jar is reflected in the lemon and the fruit bowl. With the exception of containers such as vases and fruit bowls, Renoir rarely introduced inert objects, like this knife, into his still life paintings, unlike Paul Cézanne (1839-1906).
The colours themselves are fresh and cheerful: the yellow, blue and red both catch and delight the viewer's gaze.
Provenance: Ambroise Vollard (?); Paul Guillaume (?); Domenica Walter