Category / Impressionists


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


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Edgar Degas: Museum Patronage

Edgar Degas- Studio- Photo
Degas Self-Portrait with Christine and Yvonne Lerolle

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” -Edgar Degas

“While Degas was aware of photography from the beginning of his career, he did not take up the medium until 1895, when he embraced it with great enthusiasm. By then, the motifs in his paintings and pastels-dancers, women at their toilette, horses, and even his rare forays into landscape-were established, as were his untraditional viewpoints, lighting effects, and compositions; what was novel was his approach to his materials. Characteristically, he eschewed the accepted standards of photographic practice, the decreed fashions of the portrait studio, and the aesthetics of the “Photo-Club” artist; instead, his technique was driven exclusively by the effect he wished to achieve.

“Degas’s brief but passionate involvement with photography resulted in a small body of fascinating and engaging pictures. Most of his surviving photographs are figure studies, self-portraits, and portraits of his intimate circle of friends-the families of Ludovic Halévy, Stéphane Mallarmé, Henry Lerolle, Auguste Renoir, Jacques-Emile Blanche, and others-in settings suggestive of realms more psychological than physical. In this magical image-one of Degas’s finest-the artist himself seems to lean back deep in thought, conjuring up an image of youthful feminine grace in the form of the white-clad Lerolle daughters.” –Metropolitan Museum of Art


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