Pierre-Auguste RENOIR

b.1841-d.1919

The son of a tailor from Limoges, Pierre-Auguste Renoir starting working as an apprentice at the age of fourteen in a porcelain decorator’s shop.

In 1862, with the money he earned painting cloth fabric, he enrolled at the School of Fine Arts. Renoir joined the Gleyre studio and became friends with Monet, Bazille and Sisley. He participated in all of the impressionist exhibitions, except for those in 1880 and 1886, when he stayed away due to a falling out with Degas. Although it may seem curious today, Renoir sold few of his works and his financial situation was anything but comfortable. Renoir devoted most of his painting to portraiture work. One must remember, at the time it was a question of survival for artists… From sketches to more ambitious portraits, Renoir played all the notes of fashionable art’s music of the period. Every element of 20th century Parisian Society, with its flamboyant figures or dark characters, is represented by the herald of Impressionism.

He covered his canvas with dabs of bursting color arranged in tight patterns, creating color transparency at the surface, truly a new spatial coherence for the period, while underneath lay a real pictorial revolution, radically modern, ending in a deluge of criticism. Renoir’s fame began when his work was accepted at the Salon. His favorite themes were landscapes, portraits and still life. He mastered the art of capturing the reflection of air and the smile and charm of his characters.

Available artworks

Pierre-auguste Renoir, Le Repas des Vendangeuses, 1895
Pierre-auguste Renoir, Portrait of Pierre Renoir a la Capeline, 1886