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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Apples and walnuts, c.1860 - 1870

Renoir painted the vast majority of his still-lifes in the last decades of his career. However, the relatively thick impasto and luminous tonalities of this small painting suggest that it is more likely to have been painted early in his career, in the late 1860s or early 1870s.
This sketch is thought once to have belonged to the writer Edith Wharton, who was a close friend the donor, Hugh Smith. 
It is painted on the cedarwood lid of a Villar Y Villar cigar box.