Art for the Ages

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir
Here are some of his most famous paintings:
Pierre Auguste Renoir

Renoir is one of the most renowned French artists of the late 19th century. Along with others, he contributed significantly to the Impressionist style of painting, which has been characterized by its use of light and color, and by its departure from the Classical style favored in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Renoir was well-known for celebrating beauty and feminine sensuality.

Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France on February 25, 1841, and died in Cagnes-sur-mer, France on December 3, 1919. He bore three sons, Pierre, Jean and Claude, who were visual and performing artists in their own right. He also had a filmmaker grandson, Claude, who died in 1993.

The early life of Renoir was characterized by his natural affinity for the arts in varied forms, as he loved to draw and also to sing. He supported himself by working at a ceramics factory until he was accepted at the Ecole des beaux-arts in Paris in 1862, where he studied for one year under Emile Signol and Charles Gleyre. He slowly gained recognition for his abilities as a painter for submitting several works to the Paris Salon during the 1860’s.

As an adult, Renoir was strongly influenced by the works of Camille Pissarro and Édouard Manet. After a series of rejections by the Salon juries, he joined forces with painters Pissarro, Monet, Sisley and others to present the first Impressionist exhibition in April, 1874. Although the exhibition received mostly unfavorable reviews, Renoir’s work was comparatively well-received. By 1879, Renoir was well-received and celebrated at the Paris Salon.

Perhaps the most educational years of Renoir’s life were during the 1880’s. During that time, he traveled to Madrid to see the works of Diego Velazguez, to Florence, Italy, to see the works of Titian, and Rome to view paintings by Raphael. He visited composer Richard Wagner in Palermo, Sicily, where he painted Wagner’s portrait. In 1887 during England’s Golden Jubilee, Renoir donated several of his paintings to Queen Victoria.

In 1890 he married Aline Victorine Charigot, who was twenty years younger. Earlier she had been one of his models, and bore him his eldest child. She is featured in one of Renoir’s most famous paintings, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-1881). After Renoir and Aline were married, he painted many scenes of their family life.

Renoir’s later life was plagued by health problems. He suffered from respiratory illness as well as rheumatois arthritis which left his hands crippled. Despite these handicaps, he managed to keep painting until shortly before his death. Like many other great artists, Pierre Auguste Renoir was determined to pursue his creative passion until the very end.

Thanks to Wikipedia for reference information.

Return to Home Page