(PCM) We celebrate the birthday of renowned Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir on February 25. He is often referred to as either Auguste Renoir or just Renoir throughout the art world. Renoir is often credited as being one of the primary developers for the Impressionist style of painting. 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.
Renoir did not begin pursuing painting as a serious career until he was well into his twenties and prior to that he got his start in the artistic world by painting designs on china in a porcelain factory in France. Eventually, as Renoir continued to hone his skills as an artist, he teamed up with Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and others to launch what would be remembered as the first Impressionist art exhibition.
Renoir’s work has always left the art world split down the middle as many either love or hate him, but either way he certainly managed to leave quite an “impression” that would see his name listed among many of the greats. Renoir continued to make art until the time of his death in 1919, despite suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in later years. Renoir survived long enough to see one of his works bought by the Louvre in 1919, a tremendous honor for any artist.
Throughout his career he created thousands of paintings and his works are some of the most reproduced throughout history. The single largest collection of his works,181 paintings, can be found at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA. One of Renoir’s paintings has sold for more than US$70 million. “Bal du moulin de la Galette” sold for $78.1 million May 17, 1990 at Sotheby’s New York. In 2012, Renoir’s “Paysage Bords de Seine” was offered for sale at auction but the painting was discovered to have been stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. The sale was cancelled.
Renoir was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–1969). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.
Some of Renoir most memorable quotes regarding both art and lifestyle include:
“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” –Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“Irregularity is the basis of all art.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir