2. Auguste Renoir, La Loge
- Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) La Loge (Theatre box), 1874.
Painted in 1874, Renoir’s La Loge, is one of the masterpieces of Impressionism, and a highlight of The Courtauld Gallery’s collection. The work depicts an elegant couple gazing out from a box at the theatre, and epitomises the Impressionists’ interest in the spectacle of modern life. At the time La Loge was painted, theatre in Paris was booming; it was estimated over 200,000 tickets were sold each week.
The work was the most significant of those Renoir submitted to the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874, where the ambiguity of its subject matter and virtuoso technique helped establish the artist as one of the leaders in this radical new movement. The sitters were Renoir’s brother Edmond and Nini Lopez, a model from Montmartre who was known, unflatteringly, as ‘Fish-face’.
During The Courtauld Gallery’s transformation, this work will form part of two exhibitions exploring Samuel Courtauld’s taste and contribution to the recognition of Impressionism in the UK. It will join unprecedented displays of masterpieces from Samuel Courtauld’s collection at The National Gallery and the Fondation Louis Vuitton, presenting more than 100 works by artists including Manet, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.