French Impressionist Painter, 1841-1919
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (February 25, 1841?CDecember 3, 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau".
Renoir's paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.
His initial paintings show the influence of the colorism of Eugene Delacroix and the luminosity of Camille Corot. He also admired the realism of Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet, and his early work resembles theirs in his use of black as a color. As well, Renoir admired Edgar Degas' sense of movement. Another painter Renoir greatly admired was the 18th century master François Boucher.
A fine example of Renoir's early work, and evidence of the influence of Courbet's realism, is Diana, 1867. Ostensibly a mythological subject, the painting is a naturalistic studio work, the figure carefully observed, solidly modeled, and superimposed upon a contrived landscape. If the work is still a 'student' piece, already Renoir's heightened personal response to female sensuality is present. The model was Lise Tr??hot, then the artist's mistress and inspiration for a number of paintings.
In the late 1860s, through the practice of painting light and water en plein air (in the open air), he and his friend Claude Monet discovered that the color of shadows is not brown or black, but the reflected color of the objects surrounding them. Several pairs of paintings exist in which Renoir and Monet, working side-by-side, depicted the same scenes (La Grenouill??re, 1869).
One of the best known Impressionist works is Renoir's 1876 Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Le Bal au Moulin de la Galette). The painting depicts an open-air scene, crowded with people, at a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmartre, close to where he lived.
On the Terrace, oil on canvas, 1881, Art Institute of ChicagoThe works of his early maturity were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid 1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women, such as The Bathers, which was created during 1884-87. It was a trip to Italy in 1881, when he saw works by Raphael and other Renaissance masters, that convinced him that he was on the wrong path, and for the next several years he painted in a more severe style, in an attempt to return to classicism. This is sometimes called his "Ingres period", as he concentrated on his drawing and emphasized the outlines of figures.
After 1890, however, he changed direction again, returning to the use of thinly brushed color which dissolved outlines as in his earlier work. From this period onward he concentrated especially on monumental nudes and domestic scenes, fine examples of which are Girls at the Piano, 1892, and Grandes Baigneuses, 1918-19. The latter painting is the most typical and successful of Renoir's late, abundantly fleshed nudes.
A prolific artist, he made several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir's style made his paintings some of the most well-known and frequently-reproduced works in the history of art.. Related Paintings of Pierre Renoir :. | The Bridge at Argenteuil in Autunn | The Harvesters | Luncheon of the Boating Party | Venezia-Piazza San Marco | The Washerwomen |
Related Artists:Master of the Saint Lucy Legend
Netherlandish Northern Renaissance Painter, 15th CenturyFerdinand Hodler
Swiss Ferdinand Hodler Galleries
Hodler was born in Berne and grew up in poverty. His father, Jean Hodler, made a meager living as a carpenter; his mother, Marguerite (n??e Neukomm), was from a peasant family. By the time Hodler was eight years old, he had lost his father and two younger brothers to tuberculosis. His mother remarried to a decorative painter, but in 1867 she too died of tuberculosis. Before he was ten, Hodler received training in decorative painting from his stepfather, and was subsequently sent to Thun to apprentice with a local painter, Ferdinand Sommer. Hodler's earliest works were conventional landscapes, which he sold in shops and to tourists. In 1871, at the age of 18, he traveled on foot to Geneva to start a career as a painter.
The works of Hodler's early maturity consisted of landscapes, figure compositions and portraits, treated with a vigorous realism. He made a trip to Basel in 1875, where he studied the paintings of Hans Holbein??especially Dead Christ in the Tomb, which influenced Hodler's many treatments of the theme of death. In the last decade of the 19th century his work evolved to combine influences from several genres including symbolism and art nouveau. He developed a style which he called Parallelism, characterized by groupings of figures symmetrically arranged in poses suggesting ritual or dance.
In 1884 Hodler met Augustine Dupin (1852?C1909), who became his companion and model for the next several years. Their son, Hector Hodler, was born in 1887. In 1889 Hodler married Bertha Stucki; they were divorced in 1891.
Hodler's work in his final phase took on an expressionist aspect with strongly coloured and geometrical figures. Landscapes were pared down to essentials, sometimes consisting of a jagged wedge of land between water and sky. However, the most famous of Hodler's paintings portray scenes in which characters are engaged in everyday activities, such as the famous woodcutter (Der Holzfaller, Mus??e d'Orsay, Paris). This picture went on to appear on the back of the 50 Swiss Franc bank note issued by the Swiss National Bank.
In 1898, Hodler married Berthe Jacques. In 1914 he condemned the German atrocities conducted using artillery at Rheims. In retaliation for this, German art museums excluded Hodler's work.
In 1908 he met Valentine Gode-Darel, who became his mistress. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1913, and the many hours Hodler spent by her bedside resulted in a remarkable series of paintings documenting her disintegration. Her death in January 1915 affected Hodler greatly. He occupied himself with work; a series of about 20 introspective self-portraits date from 1916. By late 1917 his declining health led him to thoughts of suicide. He died on May 19, 1918 in Geneva leaving behind a number of unfinished works portraying the city.Carl Friedrich WilhelmTrautschold