Born. 25.02.1841 in Limoges
Died. 03.12.1919 in Cagnes-sur-Mer
French Artist, Impressionist
About the Artist
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on 25 February 1841 in Limoges, France. The family moved to Paris in 1944 so that his father could find more work as a tailor. Renoir was an excellent singer as a boy but the family could not afford to give him lessons.
He started working as a porcelain painter at the age of 13. Two years later, his skills had vastly improved and he was allowed to do the work of experienced painters. The owner of the factory informed his parents that he should be taking lessons and enrol at an art school.
From 1861 to 1864 Renoir attended the Swiss painter Charles Gleyre’s class. He met Gustave Courbet and Díaz de la Peña by chance while painting in the forest and they both inspired and encouraged him. He also became friends with Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille often accompanying them when they painted outdoors. In 1864, he was invited to exhibit a painting for the Paris Salon. In the 1868s Salon, he exhibited ‘Lise with the Parasol’, for which Lise Tréhot was the model.
Renoir was inspired by modern painters. After a series of rejections by the Salon juries, he joined forces with several other artists to hold the first Impressionist exhibition in April 1874 where his work was well received. He also displayed his work at the second and third Impressionist exhibitions but did not display at all at the fourth and fifth exhibitions as his work had been accepted and highly acclaimed at the Salon where he was admired as a successful painter.
In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, a dressmaker twenty years his junior with whom he had already had a child, Pierre, in 1885. Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and family enjoying their daily life.
In 1881 Renoir travelled to Algeria, Madrid, Florence, and Rome to see the works of the masters’. He was influenced strongly by Raphael’s frescoes and Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres. Renoir turned away from the spontaneous and drew the forms more sharply, and full of vitality. It was at this time that he directed himself towards classicism.
In 1883 he spent a summer in Guernsey. He loved the coastline with its cliffs and bays, producing fifteen paintings in less than 40 days.
After he turned fifty, Renoir suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. In his later years, his hands were deformed and the pain in his right shoulder forced him to change his technique. He continued to paint in his final years, often with his brush held in bandaged hands.
Renoir died on 3 December 1919 in Cagnes-sur-Mer.