Pierre-Auguste Renoir

France / 1841 - 1919 / newyorker.com / metmuseum.org
“An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature." Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (25 Feb. 1841 - 3 Dec. 1919); French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style.

“He looked at flowers, women and clouds in the sky as other men touch and caress.”

Famed for his sensual nudes and charming scenes of pretty women, Renoir was a far more complex and thoughtful painter than generally assumed. He was a founding member of the Impressionist movement, nevertheless he ceased to exhibit with the group after 1877. From the 1880s until well into the 20th century, he developed a monumental, classically inspired style that influenced such avant-garde giants as Picasso.

Renoir began his artistic career as a porcelain painter; however, his ambitions to become a professional artist prompted him to seek other instruction. He began copying paintings at the Louvre in 1860 and eventually entered the studio of the academic artist Charles Gleyre, where he met Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. The four friends soon began painting in the forest of Fontainebleau, although Renoir always remained dedicated to figure painting and portraits. His early female nudes were heavily influenced by the earthy palette and buxom figure types of Realist
painter Gustave Courbet.

In the summer of 1869, Renoir painted for 2 months alongside Monet at La Grenouillère, a boating and bathing establishment outside Paris. Their sketch-like technique of broad, loose brushstrokes and their brightened palette attempted to capture the effects of the sun streaming through the trees on the rippling water. This painting campaign catalyzed the development of the Impressionist aesthetic....
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