by John House, Anne Distel, and Lawrence Gowing. Abrams, $29.95. This handsome book represents the Renoir exhibition, the most comprehensive in over ten years, that is currently on the road, and the reproductions of the paintings are of far more importance than the modest, sensible text. Renoir himself believed that a picture “should be something likeable, joyous and pretty—yes, pretty. There are enough ugly things in life for us not to add to them.” On the evidence here, he never did.
—Phoebe-Lou Adams