Tuesday 26 September 2023
With the opening of "Renoir in Guernsey, 1883" now right around the corner, an exciting question has been raised about the true location of one of the pieces of art being displayed.
Baie de Salerne will feature as one of the Renoir artworks in the exhibition, which has long been understood to picture the Bay of Salerno in Italy. But now locals and experts involved in the exhibition have raised the question of whether the artwork could possibly be of the Bay of St Peter Port.
The famous piece is currently listed as having been painted in 1881 during Renoir's trip to Salerno, however it is hard to find an image which matches the scene captured in the painting. When it is compared to images taken along the east coast, around Becquet, looking north toward Castle Cornet and St Peter Port, however, the similarity is striking.
"Renoir in Guernsey, 1883" has been organized by Art for Guernsey in collaboration with Guernsey Museums and the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny.
The director of the Giverny Museum has also raised the question, and contact has been made with the artwork's home museum to start a dialogue with them.
Helen Glencross, Head of Heritage Services, said:
"Research by a member of the Museum Curatorial team has led us to question the true subject of the painting and as a result we have contacted the owner, the Museum of Modern Art André Malraux in Le Havre who have lent us the piece.
"While we of course cannot be entirely sure, the question this raises is undoubtedly exciting, and we're very much looking forward to researching this further and working with the owners of the artwork to look at its location in more detail."
The painting bears resemblance to the views along the east coast of the island looking toward St Peter Port. It could feature the castle, lighthouse, and Town, with the bridge in the background.
The painting also bears strong similarities to other pieces of work Renoir is known to have created in Guernsey, such as La Cote du Moulin Huet, Rochers de Guernesey avec personnages, and Brouillard a Guernesey.
Work is now ongoing to collate the necessary evidence to make a formal case around the theory.
To see the painting for yourself, the "Renoir in Guernsey, 1883" exhibition opens at Guernsey Museum at Candie this coming weekend. You can purchase tickets at: Purchase Renoir Tickets - Art for Guernsey