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 :. | Children on the Seashore, Guernsey | Madam Charpentier Children | Landscape with Two Figures | Tulipes | Doges' Palace, Venice |
Related Artists:VIGEE-LEBRUN, Elisabeth
French painter (full name: Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigee-Lebrun). Vigee LeBrun's most famous client was Marie Antoinette, France's much maligned queen. When the two met in 1778, Vigee LeBrun's art-dealer husband had gambled away his wife's earnings. Still, she was dauntless and set out to establish her own salon where she would court royal clients. In a November 1982 article for Art in America, Brooks Adams noted that in her memoirs, Vigee LeBrun said that her much sought-after salon was, "a place where art and society mixed, where noblemen and ministers were content to sit on the floor, to avoid the stiff, formal court entertainments at Versailles." In time, her portraits and memoirs alike painted a portrait of Vigee LeBrun as a woman born to contend with anyone. Unfortunate Circumstances Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun was born in 1755 in Paris. Her father was Louis Vigee, a little-known portrait artist who worked in pastels. From the time she was small, he taught his daughter the skills of the trade. She proved to be somewhat of a prodigy. Her parents placed Vigee LeBrun in the convent of La Trinite, directly behind the Bastille. Her earliest memories were of drawing so frantically on the walls of her dormitory that the sisters regularly punished her. When her father died, Vigee LeBrun was only 12. He had been her biggest supporter. For an article in Antiques, magazine in November 1967, Ilse Bischoff quoted Vigee LeBrun's father after he saw a drawing she had done as a small child. It was the head of a bearded man with the light of a lamp falling on his face. She took care to observe light and shade, and showed skill beyond her years. Her father had exclaimed, "You will be a painter if I ever saw one." By the time she was 15, Vigee LeBrun had established a business as a painter that provided major financial support for her family. Her mother was a hairdresser from Luxembourg, who remarried not long after her first husband's death. Her stepfather soon began to squander her earnings. When she was only 21, she married an art dealer named Pierre LeBrun. It was clearly a marriage more of convenience, than of love. They had one daughter, Julie, born in 1780. Vigee LeBrun's marriage helped her gain access to a world normally restricted to men. Although she was denied access to a male apprentice system, and was unable to participate in classes at the major art academies around the city, she gained admission to the lesser salon of the Academie de Saint Luc. However, the Academie Royale was closed to her without proper connections. In those days, being shown in lesser salons kept a painter away from the financial benefits to be gained from wealthier clients who frequented the prestigious Academie Royale. When Vigee LeBrun was finally admitted to the Royale in 1783, her critics were not kind. She was accused of using her husband and the palace, most particularly her friendship with Queen Marie Antoinette. Another unfortunate rumor was that she had a long-standing sexual affair with the finance minister, Calonne. Her accusers contended that he aided her in squandering much of the Royal Treasury. That was never proven. Still, it was clear that she capitalized on her associations with the queen and the rest of the royal family. The aristocracy longed to be seen as simple, especially as unrest grew among the people outside of the palace confines. One portrait of Marie Antoinette was considered so scandalously informal, that it was withdrawn from the salon in the midst of her debut at the Academie Royale. Vigee LeBrun's arch-rival was a woman painter named Madame Labille Guiard. They were admitted to the Academie Royale on the same day. For the rest of the decade, before the French Revolution erupted in 1789, the two women maintained their rivalry. At the time of the academy's biennial exhibitions, the bitterness they felt toward each other had reached the height of its intensity. Vigee LeBrun painted one of her most acclaimed works in 1784. It was the portrait of Marie-Gabrielle de Gramont, Duchess of Caderousse. That was the same year she suffered a miscarriage, and painted only five portraits. Her usual output far exceeded that. The portrait was shown at the Salon of 1785 to much acclaim and became one of the artist's most celebrated works. In her memoirs, written fifty years later, Vigee LeBrun recalled the painting. "As I detested the female style of dress then in fashion, I bent all my efforts upon rendering it a little more picturesque, and was delighted when, after getting the confidence of my models, I was able to drape them according to my fancy. Shawls were not yet worn, but I made an arrangement with broad scarfs lightly intertwined around the body and on the arms, which was an attempt to imitate the beautiful drapings of Raphael and Domenichino I could not endure powder persuaded the Duchess to put none on for her sittings." Thrived in Exile Vigee LeBrun was not immune to the anxious rumbling that became the French Revolution. What had begun on that fateful night of July 14, 1789, erupted further when mobs stormed the palace at Versailles on the following October 6. Vigee LeBrun had been in disfavor for her association with Marie Antoinette for some time and was considered to be a royal sympathizer. Walter Shirlaw
Scottish-American artist , 1838-1909
was a Scottish-American artist. Shirlaw was born in Paisley, Scotland, and moved to the United States with his parents in 1840. He worked as a bank-note engraver, and his work was first exhibited at the National Academy in 1861. He was elected an academician of the Chicago Academy of Design in 1868. Among his pupils there was Frederick Stuart Church. From 1870 to 1877 he studied in Munich, under George Raab, Richard Wagner, Arthur George von Ramberg, and Wilhelm Lindenschmidt. His first work of importance was the Toning of the Bell (1874), which was followed by Sheep-shearing in the Bavarian Highlands (1876). The latter, which is probably the best of his works, received honorable mention at the Paris exposition in 1878. Other notable works from his easel are Good Morning (1878), in the Buffalo Academy; Indian Girl and Very Old (1880); Gossip (1884); and Jealousy (1886), owned by the Academy of Design, New York. His largest work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of Darius O. Mills in New York. Shirlaw has also earned an excellent reputation as an illustrator. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, and was its first president. On his return from Europe he took charge of the Art Students League of New York, and for several years taught in the composition class.Louis Loeb
Landscape, Portrait, Figure-idylls