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• Biography •

RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir (February 25, 1841–December 3, 1919) was born the son of a tailor in Limoges, France. Early in life he moved to Paris with his family. At age 14, he became an apprentice as a porcelain painter. He became so adept at this he might have spent the rest of days doing this type of work, but fortunately the firm went bankrupt in 1858. Although he dabbled in several different jobs, but it seemed his earliest job convinced him to attempt to become a full time painter. Renoir began copying famous paintings in the Lourve. At this time he began attending the studio of Marc-Gabriel-Charles Gleyer, a Swiss teacher who offered practical instruction to a number of artists. Along with this he began attending the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. All of these events shaped his future.

In 1864, Renoir had his first success with a painting of the Esmeralda Dancing with her Goat around a Fire Illuminating the Entire Crowd of Vagabonds. He had entered the painting in the Salon, a French exhibition of painting. For some reason, he destroyed the painting after the exhibition, but this led the way to his future greatness. Renoir became a member in the circle of young painters including Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille each of who made their mark on the art world as great masters of impressionism. And in many ways, Renoir can be considered the most popular of them all.

• Artwork •

Les La Grenouillere (Click to enlarge)La Grenouillere
Renoir found his most beautiful expression in the pictures of Grenouillère, a popular bathing resort at Croissy on the Seine. He captures a perfect summer's day, with its brilliant sunlight bursting on the canvas, yet filtered through the abundant green foliage where his friends have gathered in celebration seeking the coolness of shade. Notice the bathers, and the rowers off in the distance - and all is reflected in the water.

Le Moulin de la Galette (Click to enlarge)Le Moulin de la Galette
In this painting, Renoir captured a page of history portraying an event in ordinary Parisian life with such rigorous exactitude. The working class crowd frequented dances in open-air cafés, amid windmills and gardens, such as this one at Galette. He paints a joyous crowd with laughter, movement and sunshine. It was Renoir's intention, however, to catch the effect made by light filtering through the leaves and playing on figures, that were themselves in movement.

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