What Are the Key Characteristics of Renoir?
Working alongside Claude Monet, Renoir was essential to developing Impressionist style in the late 1860s, but there is a decidedly human element to his work that sets him apart. Renoir had a brilliant eye for both intimate domesticity and the day's fashions, and his images of content families and well-dressed Parisian pleasure seekers created a bridge from Impressionism's more experimental aims to a modern, middle-class art public.
Renoir's example became very important for the major French movements of high modernism: Fauvism and Cubism. Like Renoir, the progenitors of these styles focused on issues of color, composition, and depth rather than quick sketches of individual moments. His composed, vivid paintings created a vital bridge from earlier colorists like Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Antoine Watteau and Eugene Delacroix to the twentieth-century giants Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born into a working class family in Limoges, a city in the central west region of France. The area is historically significant as the center of French porcelain production, reaching that status during the nineteenth century. Fittingly, Renoir's first artistic job, during his teens, was as a painter in one of the town's porcelain factories.
During their training, Renoir and his new friends would venture into the scenic forest of Fontainebleau to engage in plein air painting. However, unlike Monet and Sisley, Renoir always maintained a penchant for the studio and for painting more traditional portraiture in the style of the eighteenth-century French masters he so admired.
Ultimately, his combination of modernity and tradition was highly influential on a next generation of artists including Bonnard, Picasso, Matisse and Denis, all collected his work.
Dancing Couple is an 1883 work by Renoir currently in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The painting has been described as one of Renoir's first reversions to a more classical style of painting he learned copying paintings in the Louvre while maintaining the bright palette of his fellow Impressionists.
The painting is of two of Renoir's friends, Suzanne Valadon & Paul Auguste Llhote.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French Impressionist painter whose eye for beauty made him one of the movement's most popular artists. He is best known for his paintings of bustling Parisian modernity and leisure in the last three decades of the nineteenth century. Though celebrated as a colorist with a keen eye for capturing the movement of light and shadow, Renoir started to explore Renaissance painting in the middle of his career, which led him to integrate more line and composition into his mature works and create some of his era's most timeless canvases.
It could be argued that Renoir and his colleague Monet are to Impressionism as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are to Cubism: their experiments in painting together created an entirely modern visual idiom and marked off the artistic territory that the movement would grow to inhabit in the following decades.
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