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

Opening 8 June 2007: Renoir Landscapes, a Canadian exclusivity to Ottawa!

Ottawa - February 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.

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

The exhibition features some 60 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, on loan from art museums and private collections around the world. Through the landscapes, we can 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.

Exhibition co-curator Colin B. Bailey explained, "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. 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. Here is a private garden in old Paris, there 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’s 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 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 will begin its journey at the National Gallery, London, from 21 February to 20 May 2007, and will be at the National Gallery of Canada from 8 June to 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 with essays by co-curators Colin B. Bailey and Christopher Riopelle, and other art specialists. The catalogue is published by the National Gallery, London, and will be available in English and in French at the National Gallery of Canada Bookstore and on its website.

A program of educational activities and an audioguide Bell adapted for adults and youth round out a visit to the exhibition.

Tickets for Renoir Landscapes will be on sale starting 2 April 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. The public can buy tickets by calling 1-888-541-8888. Other details can be found on the Gallery's website.

The exhibition's co-curators are Colin B. Bailey, Chief Curator of the Frick Collection in New York City, formerly Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada, 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 best-known artists in the history of Western art. The exhibition shows 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 1997 Renoir exhibition
The exhibition Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age, organized by the National Gallery of Canada in 1997, set a Gallery attendance record of 340,000 visitors.

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

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