Pierre-Auguste Renoir

As a founding member of the Impressionist group, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a leading contributor to the development of French modernism. Known for his sumptuous nudes, arcadian landscapes and portraits showcasing the most à la mode fashion, Renoir’s canvases seem to possess their own internal light. Far from documenting what he saw, he instead endeavoured to capture the sensation of seeing, of experience. ‘How difficult it is in a picture to find the exact point at which to stop copying nature,’ Renoir observed. ‘A painting is not a verbatim record. The most important thing is for it to remain painting.’

Renoir was born in Limoges in 1841, the son of a tailor and dressmaker. He worked for a spell as a porcelain painter before enrolling in 1862 at the École des Beaux-Arts to study under Emile Signol and Charles Gleyre. Through Gleyre, he met Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, and joined them in painting en plein air. ‘The open air,’ Renoir explained, ‘leads you to put on the canvas colours you would never imagine in the subdued light of the studio.’

In 1864, the artist had his first submission to the official Salon accepted, and he continued to submit canvases over the next several years. He took part in the Salon des Refusés in 1873 and the first Impressionist exhibition, held in 1874, as well as several of its subsequent iterations.

Like many of his contemporaries, Renoir too painted scenes from the world he inhabited, as seen, for example, in Bal du moulin de la Galette, La Yole and La danse à Bougival. Although, in dappled brushwork, he continued to paint the effects of light and luminosity, over the years, Renoir became less invested in Impressionism and instead developed an idiom that evoked Classical antiquity and the oeuvres of Titian and Peter Paul Rubens. Such inspiration is particularly evident in Renoir’s paintings of nude, odalisque-like figures, whose pink cheeks and fleshy forms seem born of another era.

While often thought of as a painter of the female figure, the still life played a central role in Renoir’s artistic development, and his depictions of elaborate bouquets and bowls of fruit served as a site for experimentation throughout his long career. It was through the genre that Renoir pursued some of his most significant investigations into the effects of colour on light on various surfaces and textures, and works such as Roses dans un vase and Les Fraises attest to this ongoing ambition.

At the close of the 19th century, Renoir and his family travelled more and more in the South of France, spending time in Aix-les-Bains Grasse, and Cagnes, where they would later permanently relocate. Renoir was attracted by the warm weather and famed Mediterranean light, both for their artistic potential and palliative possibilities; for several years he had suffered from arthritis and his mobility had begun to deteriorate further. Ever determined, Renoir continued to work, taking up sculpture and imbuing his paintings with a new sense of monumentality. When he finally lost his ability to use his fingers, he strapped a paintbrush to his hands and continued to paint. Renoir died in 1919 in Cagnes.

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Vache dans un verger

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Berthe Morisot et sa fille, Julie Manet

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Sentier dans le bois

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Square de la Trinité

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jeunes filles jouant au volant

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Femme nue couchée, Gabrielle

彼埃·奥古斯特·雷诺阿 (1841-1919)

《镜中的加布里埃》

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Le pêcheur à la ligne

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

La source (Nu allongé)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Buste de femme, de profil

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Au Théâtre, la loge

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

La jeune fille au cygne ou La jeune fille au héron

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Jeune femme en costume oriental devant une table à thé

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Mademoiselle Grimprel au ruban rouge (Hélène Grimprel)

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

La route à Wargemont

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

La Seine à Argenteuil

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Portrait de Lise (Lise tenant un bouquet de fleurs des champs)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

La tasse de thé ou Le jardin

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Corbeille de fleurs

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

La marchande de pommes

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Baigneuse accoudée

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Femme à l'ombrelle

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Nu couché (Odalisque couchée)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

La plage de Varengeville

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Jeune fille à la rose

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jeune femme allaitant son enfant–Madame Renoir et son fils Pierre

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jeune fille se peignant (La Toilette)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Baigneuse au bracelet, Andrée

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Jeune fille dans les fleurs or Femme au chapeau blanc

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Tête de jeune fille coiffée d'un chapeau de jardin

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Femme nue assise appuyée sur un coussin vert (Nu assis)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Paysage avec figures

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Anémones au vase de Delft

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Nu au chapeau de paille assis en bordure de mer

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Tête de jeune fille

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Portrait de Mademoiselle Yvonne Lerolle

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Femme lisant dans une clairière (Paysage, petite femme en rose au premier plan)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Madeleine au corsage blanc et bouquet de fleurs