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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

February 25, 1841 - December 3, 1919


Born in Limoges, France, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was an influential impressionist painter; his subjects were often women, usually depicting a scene of daily life. He grew up in a working-class family, painting china in a porcelain factory to make money. After enrolling in art school, Renoir studied under Charles Gleyre and met Alfred Sisley, Frederic Bazille, and Claude Monet, all central impressionist painters. It was not until 1874 that Renoir became more well-known after six paintings were in the first Impressionist exhibition. He traveled extensively gathering inspiration from master painters like Diego Velazquez, Titian, and Raphael. He married Aline Victorine Charigot, a woman who had been his model, in 1890; they had three children together. Many of Renoir’s works focus on the female nude and are notable for his avid use of bright color and light. The details blend through his large, visible brushstrokes, creating only the suggestion of figures. Like other Impressionists, Renoir was interested in capturing candid snapshots of life. There were many artists whose work influenced Renoir: the realism of Gustave Courbet, the movement of Edgar Degas’, and the plein air painting technique of Claude Monet. Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted for the rest of his life, even after developing rheumatoid arthritis in his 50s. He died in 1919 from pneumonia.

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