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 :. | Girl in a Boat | Renoir's House at Essoyes | Vase of Roses | Reclining Semi-nude | Inthe St Cloud Park |
Related Artists:GUARDI, Francesco
Italian Rococo Era Painter, 1712-ca.1793
The records of his parish in Venice show that Francesco Guardi was baptized on Oct. 5, 1712. His father, Domenico, who died when Francesco was 4, had a workshop. Francesco and his elder brother, Gian Antonio, worked in a small studio, carrying out such orders as they could get for almost anything the client wanted:mythological pictures, genre, flower pieces, battle scenes, altarpieces, and even, on rare occasions, frescoes. They did not hesitate to copy compositions by other artists, but what they borrowed they always transformed into something more capricious, less stable, more fragmentary in the refraction of light. Francesco did not emerge as an independent personality until 1760, when his brother died. Then, 48 years old, he married, established his own studio, and devoted himself chiefly to painting views of Venice. For the most part he worked in obscurity, ignored by his contemporaries. He was not even admitted to the Venetian Academy until he was 72 years old. Guardi and Canaletto have always been compared to one another because the buildings they chose to paint were often the same. But the way each artist painted them is very different. Canaletto's world is constructed out of line. It provides solid, carefully drawn, three-dimensional objects that exist within logically constructed three-dimensional space. Guardi's world is constructed out of color and light. The objects in it become weightless in the light's shimmer and dissolve in a welter of brushstrokes; the space, like the forms in space, is suggested rather than described. Canaletto belonged essentially to the Renaissance tradition that began with Giotto and, as it grew progressively tighter and more controlled, pointed the way to neoclassicism. Guardi belonged to the new baroque tradition that grew out of the late style of Titian and, as it became progressively looser and freer, pointed the way toward impressionism. Such differences appear even in Guardi's early view paintings, where he was obviously trying to copy Canaletto, such as the Basin of San Marco. The famous buildings are there, but they are far in the background, insubstantial, seeming to float. In front is a fleet of fishing boats, their curving spars seeming to dance across the surface of the canvas. What is important for Guardi is not perspective but the changing clouds and the way the light falls on the lagoon. Guardi became increasingly fascinated by the water that surrounds Venice. In late works, such as the famous Lagoon with Gondola, buildings and people have been stripped away until there is nothing but the suggestion of a thin line of distant wharfs, a few strokes to indicate one man on a gondola, a long unbroken stretch of still water, and a cloudless sky. Guardi also painted the festivals that so delighted visitors to the city, such as the Marriage of Venice to the Sea. This was a symbolic ceremony in which the doge, in the great gilded galley of the head of state, surrounded by a thousand gondolas, appeared before all Venice, in Goethe's image, "raised up like the Host in a monstrance." Of all Guardi's paintings the most evocative are his caprices, the landscapes born out of his imagination though suggested by the ruined buildings on the lonely islands of the Venetian lagoon. A gentle melancholy clings to such scenes.
Wood John Louis
American artist, was born at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1849. He was a pupil of Leon Bonnat and of Jean-Leon Gerome, at Paris. He made many voyages to the East, and was distinguished as a painter of oriental scenes. In 1895 he wrote and illustrated a book of travels, From the Black Sea through Persia and India, and two years later he published Episodes of Mountaineering. He died in November 1903. He was a member of the Legion d'honneur, France, an officer of the Order of St. Michael, Germany, and a member of the Secession, Munich.