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 :. | Dance in the Country | Portrait of the Artist's Father | The Luncheon of the Boating Party | Environs de Cagnes | Variation of The Bather |
Related Artists:WATTEAU, Louis-Joseph
French Painter, 1731-1798
Nephew of Antoine Watteau. He trained in Paris with Jacques Dumont, and at the Academie Royale, where in 1751 he was awarded first prize for painting. In 1755 he settled in Lille; there he became assistant teacher at the school of drawing, but was dismissed, because of what was considered a scandalous innovation, the introduction of study of the nude, as in Paris. He then returned to Valenciennes for some 15 years; around 1770 he became assistant teacher to Louis-Jean Gueret, director of the school of drawing in Lille, whom he succeeded in the post in 1778. On Watteau's initiative, an annual Salon, at which he himself exhibited regularly, was established in Lille in 1773.Alexander Ignatius Roche
painted Italian Peasant Girl in 1861-1921Willem Claesz Heda
Willem Claesz Heda Galleries
Dutch painter. He was a still-life painter, who, like Pieter Claesz., is noted for his monochrome breakfast-pieces, which are, however, more opulent than those of Claesz. Heda earliest dated work is a Vanitas (1621; The Hague, Mus. Bredius), which shows a still-life from a high viewpoint, composed of various objects bearing vanitas associations (e.g. a bowl of glowing embers, smoker requisites, an overturned glass and a skull); the colouring is in brownish-grey tones and represents one of the earliest examples of a Dutch monochrome still-life (monochrome refers to the range of tones, rather than of colours). Even in this early work Heda skill at painting textures is evident. A more balanced composition is achieved in another Still-life (1629; The Hague, Mauritshuis) and in the Breakfast Table (1631; Dresden, Gemeldegal. Alte Meister), in both of which the objects, set against a neutral background, are linked by a strong diagonal. The Mauritshuis still-life also gives an early indication of Heda interest in painting the effects of light. In 1631 he became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St Luke (of which he served as deacon on several occasions after 1637).