Auguste Renoir: Leader of Impressionism

Auguste Renoir

“The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion; it is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.” -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“An innovative artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on February 25, 1841, in Limoges, France. He started out as an apprentice to a porcelain painter and studied drawing in his free time. After years as a struggling painter, Renoir helped launch an artistic movement called Impressionism in 1870s. He eventually became one of the most highly regarded artists of his time. He died in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, in 1919.

Leader of Impressionism

“After the war ended in 1871, Renoir eventually made his way back to Paris. He and some of his friends, including Pissarro, Monet, Cézanne and Edgar Degas, decided to show their works on their own in Paris in 1874, which became known as the first Impressionist exhibition. The group’s name is derived from a critical review of their show, in which the works were called “impressions” rather than finished paintings done using traditional methods. Renoir, like other Impressionists, embraced a brighter palette for his paintings, which gave them a warmer and sunnier feel. He also used different types of brushstrokes to capture his artistic vision on the canvas.

“While the first Impressionist exhibition was not a success, Renoir soon found other supportive patrons to propel his career. The wealthy publisher Georges Charpentier and his wife Marguérite took a great interest in the artist and invited him to numerous social gatherings at their Paris home. Through the Charpentiers, Renoir met such famous writers as Gustave Flaubert and ?mile Zola. He also received portrait commissions from the couple’s friends. His 1878 painting, “Madame Charpentier and her Children,” was featured in the official Salon of the following year and brought him much critical admiration.” -Biography

IMPRESSIONISM IN DEPTH:

WATCH:The Impressionists
directed by Tim Dunn
"Looking back on his life in 1920, Claude Monet recalls the story of the Impressionists – a movement that shook the foundation of the art world. With his fellow painters, Auguste Renoir and Frederic Bazille, they begin a forty year struggle against the Salon, the annual state art exhibition. From meeting his hero Edouard Manet to the death of his wife and his lifelong struggles for success, Monet along with his friends and rivals ultimately find the success that they only dreamed was possible.(more)..."
WATCH & PAINT:Impressionism: The Authentic Method
This is a preview of an instructional video produced by Jerry Fresia

"This series features the authentic method of Impressionist painting, handed down from teacher to student - from the Impressionists themselves to such artists as John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri, Ivan Olinsky, Robert Brackman, and William Schultz.

"How-to demos and theory for painting in the authentic Impressionist tradition. Part 1, the Mechanics of Painting reveals how a painting is broken down into 5 stages. Part 2, Painting on the Pleasure Side of the Brain, teaches how and why the pleasure of seeing drives the process. Part 3, Lake Como in Plein-Air, a painting demo on Lake Como, Italy, employing the lessons learned in Parts 1 and 2.(more)....
BOOK: The Private Lives of the Impressionists
by Sue Roe
"Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for their paintings. Their dazzling works are familiar to even the most casual art lovers—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people? Sue Roe's colorful, lively, poignant, and superbly researched biography, The Private Lives of the Impressionists, follows an extraordinary group of artists into their Paris studios, down the rural lanes of Montmartre, and into the rowdy riverside bars of a city undergoing monumental change. Vivid and unforgettable, it casts a brilliant, revealing light on this unparalleled society of genius colleagues who lived and worked together for twenty years and transformed the art world forever with their breathtaking depictions of ordinary life.(more)...