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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:31 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.5 
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in 1841 to a tailor and dressmaker. He attended a Christian Brother's School where he was taught the rudiments of drawing. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to a firm of porcelain painters, Levy Freres et Compagnie, whose workshops were near the Louvre. At the same time, he took drawing lessons from the sculptor Callouette. After serving his apprenticeship as a porcelain painter, he worked for a M. Gilbert, a manufacturer of blinds. In 1860 he became a student of Charles Gleyre and enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In April, 1864 he came out 10th of 106th candidates in a sculpture and drawing examination there.


Initially influenced by the Barbizon School, once he had come into contact with Monet and Sisley he evolved a broader approach to the treatment of light and shade. He played an active role in the creation of the Society Anonyme des Artistes and in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1874-77 and 1882.


During this period he continued exhibiting at the Salon, where he had some notable successes which considerably advanced his career. He said "Every year I send in two portraits, however small. The entry is entirely of a comical nature. Anyway, it's like some medicine - if it does you no good, it will do you no harm. "


In 1881 Renoir took a three-month tour of Italy that heavily influenced his work for the next three years. In Italian art he found a clarity of form, a precision of outline and a compositional skill that seemed just the qualities his own work lacked. He had, in fact, been unhappy with his work for some time and destroyed many of his paintings during this period, later confessing to Vollard that in the late 1880s he felt he had reached the end of Impressionism. He had become averse to the depiction of the ephemeral, of the fleeting moment, and started to seek the 'art of the museums'. "It is in the museum that one must learn to paint. One must make the paintings of one's own time, but...

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