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Major Renoir exhibition opens in autumn

Major Renoir exhibition opens in autumn

Thursday 23 February 2023

Major Renoir exhibition opens in autumn

Thursday 23 February 2023


Fine art, exhibitions, and family activities will be available to the public this autumn, marking 130 years since renowned artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s stay in the island.

Art for Guernsey are running the events in partnership with Guernsey Museums and the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny, France.

It's being touted as the only Renoir exhibit in the world for 2023 and will hold a host of major art loans from around the globe.

Five Guernsey artworks are privately owned, while 10 others hang in museums in London, New York, and Paris. 

Main events will be held at Candie Museum, the Priaulx Library, the new Old Quarter art gallery, and the south coast Renoir walk.

Priaulx will feature various photographs, engravings and documents from 1883 to transport visitors back to island life at the time of Renoir’s stay. 

People are also asked to complete the Renoir walk, which has been refurbished, and send pictures to Art for Guernsey for the chance to have their photography featured at the gallery. 

The exhibition is open in Guernsey between September 30 and December 15. It opens officially in France between July 14 and September 10.

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Pictured: The new AfG Old Quarter gallery is set to open this spring. 

Art for Guernsey founder, David Ummels said the exhibit has been years in the making with external input helping to drive the project forward.

“When we invited Cyrille Sciama, Director of the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny and a world-renowned authority on impressionism, to come to the island to inaugurate the walk, we were looking forward to being enlightened about the artist and his work," he said.

"What we did not anticipate, however, was that Cyrille would make us aware of the profound influence that Renoir’s visit to Guernsey had on his career. The inspiration Renoir found on the island, and at Moulin Huet in particular, is not well documented. Renoir was coming close to the end of his Impressionist period and was looking for new ideas to move away from portraiture. 

"He was captivated by the nude bathers he saw at Moulin Huet, especially at a time when people were bathing fully dressed in France. That brought him back to antiquity, the old masters and Watteau, and it is highly likely that his experience in Guernsey helped him to make the shift towards painting nudes in landscapes.”

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Pictured: Ceramic tiles painted by local primary students as part of an education enrichment programme will be displayed at the Old Quarter gallery. 

Ms Sciama hailed the development of the project from humble beginnings.

“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,” she said.

The main sponsor of the exhibition is Investec. Its CEO, Brendan Stewart, praised the “incredible initiative for Guernsey”.

“To be hosting a world-class exhibition of works by a renowned artist such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir is a major coup for the island. Our congratulations go to Art for Guernsey for their endeavour and entrepreneurial spirit, which is something Investec endorses as part of our own culture. 

“To have most of the works back on Guernsey soil in 2023 is tremendously exciting and Investec is honoured to be the lead sponsor.”

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