|Boating Party Lunch|
As a young boy of ten, Renoir began an apprenticeship as a porcelain painter where he would work for four years until the company declared bankruptcy in 1858. It was during this time that Renoir realized his talent for drawing and after the closing made the decision to pursue a career in painting.
In January of 1860, Renoir received permission to copy in the Louvre and would continue to do so for the next four years. It was here that Renoir began to develop a taste for the eighteenth-century masters such as Fragonard and Watteau. It was Boucher, however, that most appealed to him and Boucher's painting, "Bath of Diana" became and would remain to be one of his most adored and inspiring pieces.
|Bather with Blonde Hair August Renoir 1904|
At the Gleyre studio, Renoir befriended many of the young artists including Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille. He also came to know Henry Fantin-Latour, Camile Pissarro and Paul Cezanne. By 1863, the beginnings of the impressionist movement had taken root. i had once meet with a portait painter who paint in Renoir's style, quite beautiful.
It was six years later, in 1869, that Renoir and Monet would work together to produce what we regard today to be the first landscape paintings where the impressionist style is evident. This duo produced a number of works, seven of which are known today. Throughout the 1870's they would continue their partnership, producing works that were almost identical. Gradually, there work would develop in more personal directions.
Although the impressionist movement was the target of public scorn, Renoir's own popularity increased. This was in part due to his friendship with Caillbolte, one of the movement's greatest supporters as well as the strong backing of several art dealers and collectors. It was 1876 that saw Pierre-Auguste Renoir produce two of his most popular paintings; "Swing" and "Moulin de la Galette".
It was during the 1880's that Renoir started to become dissatisfied with his work. Thinking his art had become too loose and his forms less distinct, he began to separate himself from the impressionists, seeking inspiration and solace in the classic stylings of the eighteenth-century masters once again. Over the next few years, Renoir began to draw his pieces in the tight, classical lines, but this lead to little success, with the work he produced during this time not being considered comparable to his earlier renderings.
Thankfully, by the end of the 1880's, Auguste Renoir once again found his voice and his vision, producing some of his most remarkable works including "The Music Lesson", "Young Girl Reading", and "Sleeping Bather".
The year 1903 saw Pierre-Auguste Renoir's health decline drastically and he began to suffer terrible bouts of arthritis, eventually leaving him confined to a wheel chair and, depending on who you choose to believe, some say his hands were so crippled that he would actually tie the brush to his hand in order to facilitate his art. There are differing versions of this, some saying that while he would need the brush handed to him, he was still able to hold it on his own.
Despite his last few painful years, the August preceding his death saw Pierre-Auguste Renoir realize one of his life-long ambitions: the state had purchased "Madame Georges Charpentier". One of Renoir's last journeys was a trip to Paris to see his masterpiece hanging in the Louvre.
The life of Pierre-Auguste Renoir came to an end on December 3, 1919.