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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!