Pierre Auguste Renoir


Artist Biography:

Along with his great friend Monet, with whom he shared early poverty and a common professional destiny, Renoir has come to represent the quintessential Impressionist. Renoir was born in Limoges in 1841 and his family moved to Paris shortly afterwards. At the age of 13 he became an apprentice to a china manufacturer, then later to a producer of fans. The delicate touch he acquired as a painter of plates and fans was to remain an essential element of his work. Renoir's formal art training began in 1862, when he enrolled at École des Beaux Arts. Here his tutor was Gleyre and fellow classmates included Bazille, Monet and Sisley. Renoir's directness of approach and innovation with colour soon attracted the attention of patrons and dealers, including Duret and Durand-Ruel, but it was not until he was 30 years old that he could afford to rent his own studio. The 1880s and following years saw the most creative period in Renoir's life. Exhibitions and mingling with the fashionable bourgeoisie brought him the acclaim he deserved. Happiness in his personal life came with his marriage to Alini Chargot. In 1904, the year in which he moved from Paris to Cagnes-sur-Mer, Renoir was struck with rheumatoid arthritis. The disease progressed rapidly and left him crippled to a large degree. After 1912, he had to paint with his brushes tied to his fingers. However, his zest for life was unimpaired; he went on painting until his death from pneumonia in 1919. Renoir is perhaps the most popular of the Impressionists and his subjects, including pretty children, flowers and beautiful scenes, have a wide and lasting general appeal.

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