About This Artwork

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French, 1841–1919

Fruits of the Midi, 1881

Oil on canvas
51 x 65 cm (20 1/16 x 25 5/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1176

As part of an effort to shape the future of scholarly publishing, the Getty Foundation in 2009 invited the Art Institute of Chicago and eight other museums to participate in a venture called the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative. The Art Institute is pleased to present the second catalogue produced from this venture: Renoir: Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Entries on the 25 artworks include high-resolution imaging, in-depth curatorial essays and conservation reports.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir probably painted this unpretentious still life of peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, pomegranates, citrons, lemons, and oranges while traveling along the Mediterranean coast (known as the Midi) on his way to Italy. In this work, the artist stressed the three-dimensional physicality of his fruits and vegetables by emphasizing their contours and using long, diagonal brushstrokes. Fruits of the Midi represents a significant attempt on his part to bring a classical sense of pictorial structure and balance to the fleeting luminosity of Impressionism—a goal that was pursued even more avidly by Paul Cézanne, with whom Renoir shared some fundamental aims.

— Permanent collection label

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