PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR
‘Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in this world’; This is one of many quotes that came from Pierre- Auguste Renoir. This famous French impressionist was born on February 25, 1841 in Limoges, France Renoir grew up in a poor family and was always considered the ‘working class’;. This is what inspired Renoir to leave school and seek work in Paris. His hopes came alive in 1854 when he began to work in a porcelain factory as a painter. During this job, not only did he learn the importance of good craftsmanship, but also gained knowledge of bright and fresh colors, which would later trademark his impressionist work.
After studying works at the Louvre, in 1862, Renoir entered the studio of Gleyre and formed a promising friendship with Claude Monet (1840- 1924), Alfred Sisley (1839- 1899) and Frederic Bazille (1841- 1870). While working in this studio Renoir painted with them in the Barbizon district and became a leading member of the impressionists. In 1869 Renoir found himself becoming very close with Monet because their paintings showed similarities in technique and style. Like Monet, Renoir had a very rough and bumpy start in the early stages of his career, but by the 1870’s Renoir had already received success as a portraitist.
In 1881 he was freed from his financial problems as an art dealer named Paul Durand- Ruel began buying his work on a regular basis. By this time Renoir’s style had changed dramatically. He used a crisper and drier style with duller coloring, opposed to his earlier works using light and fresh colors.
In the mid 1880’s Renoir thought that he should take his art more seriously. In this time period he concentrated on nudes and sometimes young girls in unknown settings. As time went on Renoir’s paintings became more plain and simple, and he soon became interested in mythological objects, such as fairies and cupid- like objects.
By 1890 Renoir was suffering from rheumatism a problem where your muscles and joints stiffen and is similar to arthritis. The disease eventually crippled him in 1912, and he was confined to a wheelchair. Despite his handicap he continued to paint until the end of his life. He did this by, setting up a canvas, then tying paintbrushes to his wrists, dipping them in paint and then he painted.