Renoir's Baigneuse painting to break artist's nude record?

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's famed painting Baigneuse will highlight Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in London later in the month.

The 1888 work has a high estimate of £18m, and is expected to comfortably surpass the $20.9m it achieved in New York in 1997, which remains a record for a Renoir nude at auction.

Renoir nude
'A nude woman getting out of the briny
deep… one can invent nothing better'

Renoir is famed for his nudes, yet only began dabbling with them during his early 40s. The work, depicting a bather in a classical pose, is typical of his nudes.

"A nude woman getting out of the briny deep or out of her bed, whether she is called Venus or Nini, one can invent nothing better," Renoir was quoted as saying in M Raeburn's 1985 work on the artist.

The record for a Renoir stands at the $78.1m achieved for Bal Au moulin de la Galette in 1990.

Entry level admirers of Renoir should consider this handwritten letter from the great Frenchman.

The June 20 auction will also feature Pablo Picasso's 1962 piece Femme au chien. Last seen in public in 1973, the colourful depiction of Picasso's second wife, Jacqueline Roque, has a £9m estimate.

Jay Vincze, the head of the Christie's sale, remarked: "The auction in June reflects the current demand of collectors [for Impressionist and Modern art], offering rare opportunities to acquire a rich variety of art from distinguished and treasured private collections."

"The quality, rarity, beauty and strong provenance of these works of art - led by Renoir's masterful nude - highlight the artistic innovation, excellence and influence of this category, together with its international appeal."

We will bring you all the key results from the sale later in the month.


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