Renoir’s Bathers with Crab
When the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the Museum won a gentlemen’s wager with the Carnegie Museum of Art–the loan of Renoir’s Bathers with Crab from their collection for its Impressionism exhibition. Of all the Impressionists, Pierre–Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) remained committed to the human figure when others turned to landscapes. And unlike Edgar Degas who shocked critics by painting prostitutes and milliners, Renoir painted the loveliest models in the most classical way. Throughout his long career, Renoir sought the right balance of dappling light and shade (as all good Impressionists were expected to do) and feathery brushwork, without sacrificing the contours that so attracted him to the female nude. Bathers is a beautiful example of the challenges and ultimate success Renoir had with painting nudes in the Impressionist manner.