Monday, October 7, 2013

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir is a well-known artist who was one of the leaders of the Impressionist era.  He was born February 25, 1841 in Limoges, France to working class parents.  Renoir got a young start as a ceramic artist, painting designs on china in a porcelain factory, and he eventually enrolled in art school.  Like many other artists, Renoir painted during a time of warfare and turmoil which delayed his success.  However, the artist made a breakthrough when six of his paintings hung in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874.  

Renoir's works have been described as realistic images full of vibrant color and light.  Due to his celebration of beauty and feminine sensuality, he also used mainly women as his subjects.  His passion for art persisted through his later years during a time of severe pain from rheumatoid arthritis.  Renoir died on December 3, 1918.

La Grenouillere
Luncheon of the Boating Party

The two paintings above are examples of Renoir's realistic candids of everyday scenes.  They both portray an energetic atmosphere through warm colors and fluid brush strokes.  I like how the paintings are told from different perspectives: one from afar with "La Grenouillere" and one as a guest of the party in "Luncheon of the Boating Party."  Even with different perspectives, they both allow onlookers to feel as if they are a part of the scene.

The Piano Lesson

The Gypsy Girl aka Summer

Renoir also did portraits, most often of women.  The two paintings above both incorporate Renoir's signature warm colors, although "The Gypsy Girl aka Summer" has a more delicate, fresh tone.  I like how he is able to express the emotions of his subjects through his usage of color and close attention to detail, such as how the gypsy girl holds her wrist and the older woman's subtle gesture of touching the younger girl's back in "The Piano Lesson."

"Pierre Auguste Renoir."
 "Pierre Auguste Renoir."

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