Excerpt from “Renoir, My Father” by Jean Renoir

In 1900, Renoir spent part of the summer in Louveciennes, where his sister Lisa lived with her husband, Charles Leray.

As the summer drew to a close, my mother wanted to collect the canvases Renoir had painted in the district and left with his sister until his return to Paris.
Impossible to find one of them!
On an impulse, she went up to the attic, and discovered that several paintings had been used to stop up holes in the roof.
Growing suspicious, she continued her search and found other canvases, which Leray had used to build hutches for his rabbits at the far end of the garden.
She did not mince words when she came to giving him a piece of her mind.
Leray was positively dumbfounded.
‘What difference does it make to Renoir? He paints that stuff for the fun of it. That isn’t real painting. Anyhow, he’ll be doing others in a few days.’
And he added that, as the canvas and the linseed oil used for such rubbish was of the best quality, his rabbits would not be in danger of getting wet when it rained!


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