Investment Profile

Pablo PicassoRenoir  (Continued)

Final Period (1899-1919)

Two factors heavily influence Renoir's painting during this period. His rheumatoid arthritis worsened to the point that even holding a paintbrush was excruciating. This caused an obvious degradation in his work. Secondly, the paintings reflected his renewed attraction to Classical precepts. The paintings from this period are the ones that today come most frequently to auction.

All of Renior's pieces command high prices. The paintings in his Impressionist and Mature periods are the most desirable and rarely become available. His most expensive painting sold at auction is Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, which is a smaller version of the larger piece that hangs in the De Orsay in Paris. It sold orginally for just over $78 million, but with inflation it is valued at $145 million. The painting was created in 1876 between his Impressionistic and Mature periods.

 Most of the work that currently comes to market are from his Final Period. Even these pieces can approach a million dollars or more. A good example of this work would be Étude De Nu that sold for just under a million in 2013 at Christie's in New York.

Works from his Early period rarely come to market because so few of the pieces were ever created. The young Renoir was so poor that he often could not even afford paint.

OutlookRenoir painted a few watercolors and also produced lithographs and etchings. The watercolors sell for much lower prices than the oils, usually under $100,000 while the etchings and the lithographs can be purchased at auction for under $1000.

In the last period of his life, Renoir worked with sculptors Richard Guino and Louis Morel on small pieces of sculpture. Most sell for modest prices of under $10,000.