Art: Renoir for the Masses

Renoir had covered the canvas with small oil sketches, probably to use up the paints remaining on his palette at the end of a day's work. With a secret finger-flick signal, Manhattan Dealer Victor Hammer bid $28,500 for it at the Kirkeby auction (TIME, Dec. 1), and got it. The next step was to find a good sharp razor blade; Hammer's Renoir would never be the same again.

Originally it included two larger sketches at the left, but a Paris dealer long ago snipped those off to sell separately. Last week Hammer sliced the 21¼-in.-by-17½-in.. canvas into eight jigsaw pieces. Squared off...

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