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Terri St. Helens, OR

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste  Renoir

(1841 - 1919)
Born: Limoges, France
Style: Impressionism
Famous Works:
  • Dance at Moulin de la Galette (1876)
  • Boating on the Seine (c. 1879-80)
  • The Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81)
Pierre-August Renoir was a great colorist and figure painter, as well as one of the seminal members of the French Impressionists. He was trained as a porcelain painter, a connection to the artisan tradition that he remained faithful to his whole life. In 1862 Renoir met Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille while studiying in Paris, and his early work was included the 1864 Salon exhibition. Monet and Renoir became good friends and working companions, and at Monet's urging the two painted side by side at a fashionable Parisian restaurant on the Seine River. From this series, radical innovations in the depiction of light, water, and sky entered Renoir's paintings. He focused his motifs on images of men and women together enjoying life in the great French capital, and painted many scenes of elegantly dressed men and women dappled in sunlight. When his naturally occurring subjects did not suffice, the enthusiastic Renoir was known to stage scenes by gathering his friends together. Along with posing his friends, Renoir spent a great deal of time in dance halls around town. After participating in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, Renoir moved to Montmarte, a quarter which teemed with painters and sculptors. After traveling in Italy and North Africa Renoir's palette became more delicate, and he excelled at portraying the soft pink skin of his female subjects. Whether in portraits, urban scenes of merry, or landscapes, using his famous "rainbow palette," Renoir is said to have painted 6,000 paintings and portraits of landscapes, men, women and children. Even as an old man, suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis, Renoir did not put down his brush, instead adapting his technique to accommodate his illness.This sensational color and sensitivity to light and appreciation of painting females is what endures in Renoir's legacy today.
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