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Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, France in February of 1841, but moved to Paris with his family in 1844.  He was Léonard Renoir and Marguerite Merlet’s sixth child. In 1854, he started working in a Parisian porcelain factory, where his talent eventually led him to doing designs on China. Here he got experience with the springy, light colors he would eventually focus on with his Impressionistic artwork.  He began studying with Charles Gleyre in the early 1860s, and there met Claude Monet, Jean-Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley and formed lasting friendships. They painted in the Barbizon district and he became a leading member of the group meeting at the Cafe Guerbois, who became known as the Impressionists. Around this same time, he enrolled at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and remained there as well for several years.

Monet and Renoir, in particular, were quite close at this point, and they painted a series in 1869 of a place called La Grenouillere, which are considered the classic examples of the early Impressionist style statements. There are seven known to the general public today. These paintings are on relatively small canvases. The less polished execution is typical of work done out of doors, while trying to capture the important details of the picture in fleeting light conditions.

Another well-known work of his, Le Moulin de la Galette, was shown at the 1877 Impressionist exhibit, along with 20 other of his works. Painted in 1876, this oil on canvas painting is located in France at the Musée d'Orsay, while a second, smaller version, has been sold in recent history. It is a painting depicting people engaged in joyful recreation, where young French people would come and congregate at a dance hall, and weather permitting, the courtyard located directly behind it. The painter used the faces of his friends for many of the people in the painting, although he did use a few models. Basically, he grouped together a number of meticulously organized portraits in order to present this painting.

Renoir dealt with a number of physical ailments in his later years. A broken arm due to a bicycle fall in 1897 exacerbated his arthritis, and he dealt with nerve atrophy in one eye, as well. He was in a wheelchair by 1910 and was by that point dealing with significant deformation in his hands.

Towards the end of his life, the artist gave sculpture a try. Venus Victorious by the painter and an assistant named Richard Guino, is six foot eight and shows the goddess holding the golden apple Paris awarded her. The goddess Venus in this sculpture is modeled on the one in the painting The Judgement of Paris, which portrayed a scene from the classic Greek myth, where Venus participated in a competition, in the hopes of winning the golden apple. Of course, due to his physical limitations of the time, the painter was relegated to directing his assistant.

Renoir died in December 1919, but it was a heart attack, not his other medical issues that was to blame. Two of his sons, Jean and Claude, were with him when he died, and the five million franc estate was left to his three sons.

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    Renoir Paintings
    From the French man who offered the world its first glimpse of impressionism, we have Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings. His career began as he painted designs on china at a factory.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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