Pierre-Auguste Renoir Biography and Renoir Canvas Art Gallery

Pierre Auguste Renoir's Biography

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - A Girl with a Watering Can Pierre Auguste Renoir was born 25 February 1841 in Limoges, France. He was the sixth of seven children of Leonard Renoir and Marguerite Merlet. Two of the children in the family died as infants. Pierre August Renoir's siblings included Pierre-Henri, the eldest, Marie-Elisa, Leonard-Victoire, and Edmund-Victoire, the youngest child.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - Ball At the Moulin de la Galette Renoir's father was a tailor and his mother a seamstress. The family moved to Paris in 1844. In 1854, at the age of thirteen, Pierre-Auguste Renoir became an apprentice as a porcelain painter. He painted flowers and portraits on plates, cups, and vases. In 1860, Renoir was admitted as an authorized copier in the Louvre. He made his first attempts at painting by studying the works of Rubens and Fragonard.

"It is in the museum that you learn to paint...When I say you learn to paint in the Louvre, I do not mean scratching the varnish off the pictures to steal their techniques or to re-paint the Rubens and Raffaels. You have to be a painter of your own time. But in the museum you acquire a taste for art which nature alone cannot give you. It is a painting, not a beautiful scene, that makes you say: I want to be a painter."
  - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - The Luncheon of the Boating Party In 1862, Renoir began his studies at Ecole Imperial et Speciale des Beaux-Arts. Renoir's works span almost a 50 year period. He met and worked with numerous famous artists including Monet, Sisley, Bazille, Pissarro, Cezanne, Manet, Morisot and Degas during this time. Renoir's style encompassed open-air landscapes, family scenes and monumental portrait scenes such as The Luncheon of the Boating Party.

"For me a picture has to be something pleasant, delightful and pretty -- yes, pretty. There are enough unpleasant things in the world without us producing more."
  - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - La Loge Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - The Dancer 1874 was the year of the First Impressionists' Exhibition. Renoir sold 3 paintings at the exhibition including La Loge. Several of Renoir's paintings featured his experiences at the opera theatre including an admiration for the performers as seen in The Dancer. Renoir's success of selling his paintings continued through arranged auctions at the Hotel Drouot and several other Impressionist Exhibitions.

"A work of art has to grip the spectator, engulf him, carry him away."
  - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - The Swing Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting - Two Sisters on the Terrace With the money Renoir made from the Hotel Drouot auctions, Renoir leased a garden in Rue Cortot where he studied and painted human figures in open landscape scenes. Among his great works from this period include The Swing and Two Sisters on the Terrace. Renoir's first son, Pierre, was born on 23 March 1885. Renoir next became interested in Marine, Mediterranean seascapes and Bather motifs. His greatest work from this period, The Bathers took several years of effort before it was completed in 1887. Renoir's wife, Aline, gave birth to Renoir's second son, Jean, on 15 September 1894. Renoir's third son, Claude, called "Coco" was born on 4 August 1901.

"The purpose of painting is to decorate the walls, therefore it has to be as rich as possible."
  - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir's health deteriorated as he suffered with rheumatoid arthritis making it difficult to walk and paint. In his final years, Renoir continued to paint from a wheelchair despite his painful illness, and his paintings from this period displayed great grandeur and majestic beauty that some describe as the best of his works. Renoir suffered with pneumonia in November 1919, and died in Cagnes on 3 December 1919.