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The Gust of Wind, c.1872

Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1841 – 1919

Oil on canvas 52 x 82 cm

Bequeathed by Frank Hindley Smith, 1939

Collections record: 2403

© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Landscape played an important part in Renoir’s earliest paintings, but in the 1860s his work became increasingly dominated by the human figure. Pure landscape is rare in his work; this scene, thought to represent a hill near Saint-Cloud, to the west of Paris, was probably painted around 1872. Renoir’s aim here is not so much to achieve topographical accuracy, than to convey the sensual pleasures of the outdoors, and that most unpaintable of natural elements: air.

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