Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Renoir Landscapes set the scene for summer at the National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa - June 6, 2007

The National Gallery of Canada presents Renoir Landscapes, 1865-1883, from 8 June to 9 September 2007. This is the first major exhibition of the artist's landscape paintings and the National Gallery is its only Canadian stop. The exhibition is presented by Sun Life Financial and jointly organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery, London, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

"It is a pleasure and an honour to present to Canadian art lovers this summer an exhibition by one of France’s greatest painters,” said Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “Renoir's landscapes allow us to rediscover an artist whose work evokes an irresistibly appealing approach to life."

The exhibition features 56 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, on loan from art museums and private collections around the world. Through the landscapes, we are able to follow the evolution of Renoir's style, from his early landscapes to fully developed impressionism, and discover how he integrated new elements and expanded his colour palette following travels in Algeria and Italy.

"It was in their radical depiction of landscape, painted in nature, and of sites not previously considered acceptable for high art, that the Impressionists created a new language of painting,” explained exhibition co-curator Dr. Colin B. Bailey. “Renoir, who is thought of above all as a painter of figures and portraits, participated wholeheartedly in this movement, and indeed, his landscapes show him at his most experimental and audacious. Since Renoir's landscapes have never before been studied as a discrete group, they allow us to follow the artist's journey between 1865 and 1883, from the realist painter inspired by Courbet and Corot, to the pioneering chronicler of the Parisian suburbs, to the mature artist traveling to new and unfamiliar sites, both at home and abroad."

In this magnificent exhibition of pastoral scenes and landscapes, Renoir also invites us to discover the quiet charm of the outskirts of Paris and the vacation retreats so dear to his contemporaries, from a private garden in old Paris, to a mosque in Algiers or a Guernsey hillside flooded in light.

"As an organization that seeks out and celebrates excellence, we believe the masterpieces of Renoir Landscapes are among the world's finest examples of artistic excellence," said Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial. "We are honoured to partner with the National Gallery of Canada in bringing this extraordinary exhibition to Ottawa, and providing a unique and enriching experience for Canadians and visitors alike."

Itinerary and credits
Renoir Landscapes, 1865-1883 began its journey at the National Gallery, London, from 21 February to 20 May 2007, and will be on view at the National Gallery of anada from 8 June until 9 September 2007. Its third and final venue is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from 4 October 2007 to 6 January 2008. The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery, London, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The exhibition's content is enhanced by a catalogue which includes essays authored by co-curators Dr. Colin B. Bailey and Christopher Riopelle, as well as other art specialists. The catalogue is published by the National Gallery, London, and is available in both English and French at the National Gallery of Canada Bookstore and on its website at www.ShopNGC.ca.

A complete program of educational activities and a Bell audioguide adapted for adults and youth round out a visit to the exhibition. Visit www.national.gallery.ca/renoir/  for more details.

Tickets for Renoir Landscapes are on sale now at the price of $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, $7 for youths (age 12-19) and $30 for families (2 adults, 3 youths). Free admission for children under 12 and Friends of the Gallery. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-541-8888 or online at www.ShopNGC.ca.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Colin B. Bailey, Chief Curator of the Frick Collection in New York City, and Christopher Riopelle, curator of 19th-century painting at the National Gallery, London.

Renoir's life
Born in Limoges, France, in 1841, Pierre-Auguste Renoir spent most of his life in Paris and remains one of the most beloved and well-known artists in the history of Western art. The exhibition displays how his distinctive style evolved throughout the 1860s and early 1870s. The painter and his companions, who would eventually be known as the Impressionists, revolutionized landscape painting by choosing to work outdoors rather than in the studio.

The National Gallery of Canada would like to thank Sun Life Financial, the exhibition's principal sponsor, the Canada Travelling Exhibition Indemnification Program through the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as its media partners, la Télévision de Radio-Canada, CBC Television, The Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit.

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Alain Boisvert
Manager, Public Relations