The impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir spent a month on the Islands in 1883 and created fifteen beautiful depictions of Moulin Huet. Today’s blog focuses on looking at the Channel Islands from Renoir’s perspective.
Who was Renoir?
Renoir was a French painter (1841-1919) who was instrumental in the development of impressionism.
Impressionist art was a 19th Century technique whereby the artist would use small and visible brushstrokes to leave an ‘impression’ of their subject rather than defined lines. Other famous impressionists include Monet and Pissarro.
Renoir’s paintings of the Channel Islands
Renoir’s trip in 1883 to Guernsey resulted in around 15 paintings of the bay and beach of Moulin Huet.
He focused on depictions of the rocky coast of the island, as well as the green landscape surrounding the bay – some with figures, some without.
His paintings of the island were:
- Vue de Guernesey (View at Guernsey) – Depicts the beauty of a cloudy sky overlooking the sea and trees along the Guernsey coast.
- Brouilard à Guernesey (Fog on Guernsey) – Shows a house on a Guernsey cliff on a foggy day.
- Baie du Moulin Huet à travers les arbres (The Bay of Moulin Huet through the trees) – Is a beautifully framed view of the bay through the trees.
- La Côte du Moulin Huet (Hills around the bay of Moulin Huet)
- Baie du Moulin Huet Guernesey (Cradle Rock, Moulin Huet, Guernsey) – Shows Cradle Rock out in the Ocean.
- Marine à Guernesey (Marine Guernsey) – Gives a view of the Ocean with a rocky shoreline.
- Enfants au bord de la mer (Children on the seashore) – Two young boys positioned on the left seated on the rocks, and two girls with their mother, wearing frilly frocks and sun heats, overlooking a vivid blue impressionist view of the ocean.
- Enfants au bord de la mer à Guernesey (Children on the seashore Guernsey) – Children playing on the beach in Guernsey overlooked by their mothers against a rocky shoreline.
- Guernesey, étude (Guernsey, study) – Striking blue waves along the Guernsey coast.
- Baigneuses à Guernesey (Women and children bathing on Guernsey)
- Rochers à Guernesey avec personages (Rocks on Guernsey with figures) – A beautiful close up of four figures (3 of them children).
- Garçons nus dans les rochers à Guernesey (Boys among the rocks on Guernsey) – Depicting an impression of onlookers while several children swim in the sea on the Guernsey shore.
- Paysage avec baigneurs, Guernesey (Landscape with bathing boys, Guernsey) – One of the more risqué of the collection – depicting 12 boys in the nude and skinny dippy on the Guernsey coastline.
- Baigneuse assise (Seated bather) – A naked woman sits on the Guernsey shore and appears to be drying herself off after a swim.
- Baigneuses (Bathers) – Nudes in the open air – Two models in the foreground and three nudes bathing in the distance.
From these paintings, it is clear that Renoir was totally besotted with the scenery and the coastline. He was inspired by the paths, the beaches and the people.
But, who wouldn’t be? 😉
Not so sure about the beauty of the Channel Islands? Come and see it for yourself!
Are you interested in more history related topics? Then don’t miss the following article: The Channel Islands and World War II