Barbara Ehrlich White, “The Bathers of 1887 and Renoir’s Anti-Impressionism,” The Art Bulletin, Vol. 55, No. 1 (March 1973), pp. 106-126.
1) What does the precision of technique in the three foreground bathers in the painting suggest? (p. 107)
2) According to White, why does the author dispute Vollard’s assertion that Renoir tried to duplicate a fresco technique during his “sour period”? (p. 107)
3) According to the author, how is Renoir’s Bathers “aesthetically incongruous”, with particular respect to the composition and brushstroke? What is its effect and result? (pp. 107-111)
4) What works of art from his own previous paintings of single nudes does Renoir’s Bathers recall? (p. 111)
5) According to White, how did the split among the Impressionist group affect Renoir? (pp. 113-114)
6) According to the author, how may have Renoir’s relationship with Aline and the birth of their son affect the Bathers? What proof does White offer? (p. 114)
7) How did Renoir attempt to seek progress and “irregularity” in his work during 1884-87? (p. 115)
8) According to White, influence from which contemporary writers in the literary and musical world prompted Renoir’s divergence from naturalism towards a new classicism? (p. 118)
9) How did the influence of tradition impact Renoir’s aesthetic shift during his “sour” period? (pp. 119-121)
10) According to the author, why was Renoir vulnerable to the popular taste of the wealthy class? Which artists did Renoir, essentially, look to in an attempt to “sell out”? How did Renoir try to improve his financial situation? How did his peers respond to this shift and what was the end result? (pp. 121-125)
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