The Renoir and Friends exhibit opening Saturday at the Phillips Collection will feature 40 of the artist’s works, with the main focus being on Luncheon of the Boating Party.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), one of the original group of innovative French impressionists that included Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, struggled for years through lukewarm reviews and hardship brought on by the Franco-Prussian War before finding success with this truly classic painting.
The fact that this local gallery — tiny in comparison to behemoths like the Smithsonian and the Guggenheim — owns this rare gem is a major achievement. The Phillips bought the painting in 1923, 18 months after opening their gallery, for $125,000. Other Renoirs have sold since for more than $70 million.
Special events at the Phillips Collection related to this exhibit include:
• Oct. 26 — Teach with Luncheon of the Boating Party: An Evening for Educators
• Oct. 12 — Renoir, a film about the artist’s life
• Nov. 2 — Fashion a la Renoir, an opportunity to have your picture taken in the style of the day
• Nov. 9 — Renoir: An Intimate Biography, lecture and book signing
• Dec. 3 — Renoir and Friends Panel Discussion, leading art scholars discuss the artist
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW, Renoir and Friends exhibit, Oct. 7 – Jan. 7; Hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 6:30; Tickets, adults $12, students and seniors 62 and over $10, under 18 free.
Feature image credit: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880-81. Oil on canvas, 51 1/4 x 69 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1923.