Without referring to past works by the painter, Renoir and Guino conceived two nudes sculpted along the theme of the elements: pendants representing water and fire. The popular yet timeless figures, recognized for their respective attributes, are treated with all the naturalism of a study from nature: Water with the features of a laundress rinsing out her laundry, and Fire, here, personified by a blacksmith, a simple tradesman before his brazier. The blacksmith is seated on a flat stone. His youthful air, long curly hair and loose-fitting clothing worn draped over one shoulder lend him the appearance of a shepherd. In one hand, he holds a hammer, and in the other he heats the iron in a small fire pit in which flames flare. He hunches over his work, back rounded, neck bent, attentive. The movement is fluid, the volumes full and rendered with ease.
© Estate of Richard Guino / SOCAN (2020)