RUSART > History of Arts > Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

(1841 - 1919)


Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919) as well as Claude Monet and some other famous painters of 19th century was an extraordinary impressionist. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau".

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges and brought up in Paris, where his father, a tailor with a large family, settled in 1845. From the age of thirteen he worked as an apprentice painter, painting flowers on porcelain plates. He also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans before he enrolled in art school. This early apprenticeship left a certain trace on his art, which was always decorative in spite of its later realism.

In 1862 he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. At times during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, recognition did not come for another ten years, due, in part, to the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War. During the Paris Commune in 1871, while he painted on the banks of the Seine River, some members of a commune group thought he was a spy, and were about to throw him into the river when a commune leader, Raoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion.

Prior to this, Renoir had met 16 year old Lise Tréhot, whose dark features and rounded figure attracted Renoir. Lise became Renoir's favorite model and mistress, he painted her more than 20 times between 1865 and 1872. In 1872 they separated, Lise married soon after and they were never to see each other again.

In the 1880s, he abandoned Impressionism for what is often called the “dry style”. He began a search for solid form and stable composition, a search, which led him back to the masters of the Renaissance. He worked more carefully and meticulously, his colors became cooler and smoother. He later returned to hot rich colors and free brushwork of his earlier days to portray nudes in sunlight, a style, which he continued to develop to the end of his life.

In 1890 he married Aline Victorine Charigot, who, along with a number of the artist's friends, had already served as a model for Les Déjeuner des canotiers (Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881), and with whom he already had a child, Pierre, in 1885. After his marriage Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life, including their children and their nurse, Aline's cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three sons, one of whom, Jean, became a filmmaker of note and another, Pierre, became a stage and film actor.

Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1907, he moved to the warmer climate of "Les Collettes," a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, close to the Mediterranean coast. In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with the old masters. He died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, on December 3.

Sources: Wikipedia, ABCgallery, Theartgallery

Dance in the City 1882-1883
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Dance in the Country 1883
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Bal au moulin de la Galette 1876
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The Large Bathers 1887
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

La promenade 1906
The Barnes Foundation

Self-portrait 1910

A Girl with a Watering Can 1876
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Dance at Bougival 1883

Flowers in a Vase


The Artist's Family 1896
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Nini in the Garden 1875-76
Philadelphia Museum of Art

On the Terrace 1881
The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Collection

Renoir La Loge 1874

Woman with a Cat 1875


Bouquet of Lilacs 1875

The Apple Seller 1890

Monet painting in his garden 1873

Bal du moulin de la Galette 1876
Musée d'Orsay

Oarsmen at Chatou 1879

Roses and Jasmine in a Delft Vase

La Foret

The Swing 1876
Musée d'Orsay

After The Bath 1888

Beach Scene Guernsey

La Vague

Mere et enfant

Seated Bather

Head of a Child

Jeune Fille en Rouge

Jeune fille coiffant ses cheveux 1894
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Portrait of a Young Woman in Black

On the Terrace 1881
Art Institute of Chicago

La Grenouillere 1869

Pont-Neuf 1872
National Gallery of Art, Washington (D.C.)

The Canoeists' Luncheon 1879-1880

Portrait of Victor Chocquet 1875

Still Life with Bouquet 1871

Portrait de Romaine Lacaux 1864

Young Boy with a Cat 1868-69

La Parisienne 1874

The Dancer

Rocky Crags at l'Estaque

Bouquet of Spring Flowers 1866

Reclining Nude

Young Girl With Daisies

Porträt des Malers Alfred Sisley 1868

Porträt des Malers Claude Monet 1875
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Jeanne Durand-Ruel 1876

Mme. Charpentier and her children 1878
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Near the Lake1880

Portrait of Charles and Georges Durand-Ruel 1882
Sammlung Durand-Ruel, Paris

In the Garden 1885

Portrait of Ambroise Vollard 1908
Courtauld Institute Galleries, London

Portrait of Paul Durand-Ruel1910
Sammlung Durand-Ruel, New York

Nude in Sunlight 1875
Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Nude Woman 1910

Bathing Women 1916
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Bathing Women, 1918
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

Young Woman in White Reading 1873
National Gallery of Ireland

By the Seashore

Gabrielle aux Bijoux 1910

The Reader, 1877

Chestnut Tree in Bloom 1881
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Les pécheuses de moules à Berneval 1879
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

Before the Bath, 1875

Stilleben mit Anemonen

Woman on a Couch 1906-07

Julie Manet dit aussi L'enfant au chat

Still Life with Peaches, 1881

Piazza San Marco, Venice 1881

The Jardin d'Essai, Algiers1881

Young Woman Wearing a Garland of Flowers

Portrait of Claude Renoir Painting 1907

The Doges' Palace, Venice 1881

Two Women in Blue Blouses

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