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Stolen Renoir painting depicting Guernsey to be returned

Stolen Renoir painting depicting Guernsey to be returned

Thursday 23 February 2023

Stolen Renoir painting depicting Guernsey to be returned

Thursday 23 February 2023

Four Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings - including the 1883 Marine Guernsey - will be returned to their rightful heirs after being stolen and sold during the Second World War, a Parisian court has ordered.

The Musée d’Orsay will return the masterpieces to the heirs of French art collector Ambroise Vollard, who originally owned the pieces.

Mr Vollard died in 1939 and the paintings were sold to Nazi officers, German museums and art collectors following the capture of France in June 1940.

The French state is not expected to appeal the court ruling.

Marine Guernsey depicts the Pea Stacks on Guernsey’s south coast, as seen from Moulin Huet bay, in an impressionist style. 

The Art Newspaper reports that 6,000 artworks were left to Mr Vollard’s siblings in his will, but one brother helped two art experts steal and sell part of his estate to the Germans. 


Pictured: Several prized Renoir artworks will be loaned to Guernsey later this year.

Art for Guernsey is launching the 'Renoir in Guernsey, 1883' exhibition later this year both locally and in Giverny, France, to mark the 130th anniversary of Renoir's visit to the island where he produced 15 iconic artworks. 

It's being touted as the only Renoir exhibit in the world for 2023.

Candie Museum will be the focal point locally, featuring fine art including major international loans, but Priaulx Library, the new Old Quarter art gallery, and the south coast Renoir walk will also host exhibits and activities.

"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," according to Art for Guernsey founder David Ummels.

"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.”

The exhibition will run between September 30 and December 15. French art fans can enjoy it slightly earlier between July 14 and September 10 at the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny.

Pictured (top): The Musée d’Orsay, and Renoir's Marine Guernsey. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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