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The Exhibition Remembering Renoir’s stay in Guernsey

Tsuktiben Jamir

Renoir is no stranger to the island of Guernsey. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the great French painter of the Impressionist era, spent just over a month in Guernsey in September of 1883. He completed roughly fifteen paintings during this time, mostly while staying at his vacation spot in Moulin-Huet. In collaboration with the Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery and the Art for Guernsey group, the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny is hosting an exhibition to commemorate Renoir’s fruitful sojourn on the Channel Island 140 years ago by bringing together these paintings he completed during his stay in September 1883.

‘Marine Guernesey'(1883) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Courtesy: The Art Newspaper

The exhibition will debut at the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny in France from July 14 through September before travelling to the island’s Candie Museum (30 September 2023- 15 December 2023). The island’s rocks and the people bathing there, the crystal-clear waters, the steep topography, and the interaction of the light with the natural environment greatly fascinated Renoir, inspiring him and eventually leading to important changes in his work which he incorporated in the 15 paintings he completed while staying there. Over time, these paintings eventually dispersed throughout both public and private collections around the globe, the exhibition will, for the first time, bring together all these paintings on their island of origin.

Titled ‘Renoir in Guernsey, 1883’, the exhibition will be curated by David Ummels, the founder of Art for Guernsey. The show was made possible thanks to a number of generous museums, donors, and private collectors. The project’s protracted journey started in 2019 when Art for Guernsey organised the Renoir Walk. The inauguration of the Renoir Walk, which was presided over by Cyrille Sciama, Director of the Musée des Impressionnismes, provided Sciama the chance to discuss the impact Guernsey had on Renoir towards the conclusion of his Impressionist phase and the role the island played in facilitating his transition to painting nudes in landscapes. Additionally featured in the exhibition will be works of art by Bazille, Courbet, and Denis.

Enfants au Bord de la Mer (Children on the Sea Shore), oil on canvas, by Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Courtesy: Guernsey Museums and Galleries.

Cyrille Sciama said, “I am very pleased to curate this exhibition with our friends at Art for Guernsey and the Guernsey Museums. This common adventure is the result of a serendipitous meeting in 2019 about the Renoir Walk. I am very happy to see this dream of Renoir in Guernsey come true with a fantastic team. I am sure the works by Renoir will bring happiness to the people of Guernsey: it is such a joy to bring back the works to where they were painted!”

A fine art show at the Candie Museum will serve as the event’s centrepiece, and there will also be additional exhibitions and events scheduled for the Priaulx Library, the Renoir Walk, and the Old Quarter Gallery for Art for Guernsey, which is slated to open this spring.

The 15 paintings that Renoir produced in 1883 while residing on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, depict the Moulin Huet Bay. With artistic strokes in the lush grass and sky, the artist appeared to be returning to his Impressionist origins in these pieces. These paintings show nature in motion as grass sways in the breeze and the water flows serenely by with their free brushwork. Sometimes Renoir’s brushy rendering of his landscapes gives the impression that they are flirting with abstraction. This exhibition will be a celebration of the great artist and the works he produced while in Guernsey.

Exhibition dates:

30 September – 15 December 2023 (Everyday)

10 AM- 6 PM (Last entry at 5:30 PM)


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