French Impressionist painter & sculptor. Born 1841 - died 1919.
Pierre Auguste Renoir
oil painting reproduction
(1841 - 1915)
Renoir is one of the foundering members of the Impressionist movement and an artist best known for his depictions of pleasant scenes and curvy women. Taking great pleasure in his work, Renoir drew inspiration from a variety of sources and changed his technique many times during his career. Renoir´s passion for painting was obvious to all who knew him and observed his work.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir Early Years
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, France, on February 25th 1841. His artistic career began at the age of thirteen when he started working as a porcelain painter in a Parisian factory, creating flower designs on China. He went on to join the studio of the Swiss artist Charles Gleyre in around 1860 and his teacher was a source of great inspiration. It was also at these classes that Renoir first met Monet, Bazille, and Sisley, all of whom went on to found the Impressionist movement.
In 1869 Renoir collaborated with Monet, sketching on the Seine river banks at Asnières, Argenteuil, and Chatou. This became something of a tradition and it was during these meetings that the two young artists developed their famous technique and experimented with the bright colours central to Impressionism.
It was also around this time that Renoir was allowed to copy at the Louvre, where he was influenced by Rococo masters such as Boucher, Fragonard, and Watteau.
In the 1880s Renoir left the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he had been studying and turned his attentions to figure paintings, particularly of women. A great worshipper of the female form, Renoir said I never think I have finished a nude until I think I could pinch it.
Renoirs technique of broken brush strokes was combined with brash colours to portray the light and movement of the subject. His early works captured real life scenarios and were always pleasant and non-serious. Renoir was quoted as saying Why shouldn't art be pretty?, there are enough unpleasant things in the world.
A master at depicting facial expressions, Renoir tended to paint youthful portraits of his associates, most of whom were artists and writers. With larger compositions, Renoir succeeded in assembling several figures in one frame. His compositions were complex and required many revisions. He would work on the same canvas for weeks.
Like many painters, Renoir endured difficulties in his early career, but turned this around as a portraitist in the late 1870s. He was also helped by the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel who began to regularly purchase his work in 1881, and helped raise Renoirs profile.