Pierre-Auguste Renoir Biography

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir biography


Pierre Auguste Renoir  (1841–1919)

French painter, born in Limoges. One of the most important of the Impressionists, as a boy he was employed as a painter on porcelain. At Gleyre’s studio in Paris (1861) he met and became friends with *Monet and Sisley.

With them he worked in the open air concentrating on the problems of sunlight and its reflection, for example, on water or human flesh. It was with the latter that Renoir showed his special skill and the exuberant delight that his painting gave him and which he always wished to impart. There is no exotic frailty about his nudes: their flesh is rosy and their limbs are muscular.

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For Renoir, love of painting and a love of life were inseparable. A more sophisticated gaiety is seen in La Loge, Les Parapluies and Au Théatre: la Première Sortie. He experimented briefly with pointillism but in general he was a more scholarly painter and more concerned with composition, e.g. his large paintings of Bathers in the 1880s, than many of his contemporary Impressionists.

He spent most of his life between Paris and the French countryside and, though his hands were crippled with arthritis, continued to paint in his garden near Cagnes to the time of his death. He achieved a total of 6000 paintings. He was happily married.