RENOIR Pierre - Autograph Letter Signed 1918 from the son of the artist to sculptor Richard Guino
Pierre RENOIR (1885-1952)
Autograph Letter Signed (“Pierre Renoir”) to the Franco-Spanish sculptor Richard Guino, sending news from Paris, including news of a bomb falling near the premises of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard.
2 pages small 4to in French together with autograph envelope, n.p. [postmarked Paris], n.d. [postmarked 4 February 1918].
Trans: “I received the two plaquettes and I thank you for them. Jean [his brother, the film director Jean Renoir] dropped by your place a few days ago and of course found no one at home as you are staying in Cagnes. You are quite right, first of all the cold might return and also . . . things are not cheerful, it has been worse than reported and almost all areas have been hit. Vollard must have been shaken, for a bomb fell on the rue de Choiseul.
I think of you and Mme. Guino are in good health, best wishes from my wife and myself.”
It was the art dealer Ambroise Vollard who had brought together Pierre’s father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and the sculptor Richard Guino. Renoir, crippled by arthritis, barely able to hold a paintbrush, nevertheless expressed a desire to produce some sculptures. Vollard turned to the young Guino, who agreed to work with and for Renoir. A number of sculptures resulted from the collaboration, which were sold by Vollard after Renoir’s death under Renoir’s name alone. Renoir senior was, at this time, living in Cagnes, and Guino’s presence there would indicate that the two artists were still collaborating at this time.
Vollard’s premises in 1918 were in the rue Laffitte, close to the rue de Choiseul, and an explosion would surely have shaken his nerve, if not his windows.
Pierre Renoir was a successful actor who had made his stage debut ten years earlier. Although he found silent films of little interest, he eventually accepted a small part in Les Enfants du Paradis, often cited as the greatest French film of all time. On stage, he is noted as the first Hector in Jean Giraudoux’s pacifist play, La guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu (translated by Christopher Fry as Tiger at the Gates).
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