Renoir Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)
French painter, renowned among the greatest exponents of Impressionism. Born in Limoges, son of a tailor, Renoir then spent his childhood in Paris. His father, who guessed his artistic skills, directed him to the study of decoration of porcelain. In 1862 he enrolled at the School of Fine Arts, where studied under Charles Gleyre and Emil Signal. It was at school that he met Monet, Sisley, Bazille and later Cezanne and Pissarro: those who would have set, ten years later, the core of the Impressionist movement. They shared the admiration for non-conformist artists of the time and the passion for painting “en plein air” and, during the spring of 1964 Renoir and other members of the group moved to the forest of Fontainebleau to paint nature and fully grasp all its suggestions, nuances and emotions. Their way of interpreting nature, which was for that time out of the ordinary and characterized by colors and details of light and shadow, marked the beginning of the impressionist painting revolution. In 1874, Renoir participated at the first Impressionist exhibition held at Boulevard des Capucines, which caused a real scandal among his contemporaries. In 1880, he met his future wife, Aline Victorine, and they moved together to Troyes Champagne, his native city. In 1881, influenced by of a trip to Italy, Renoir gradually moved away from the impressionist style: the Renaissance paintings, and especially Raphael’s works admired in Rome, led him to a return to classicism, the discovery of shapes, volumes, contours, drawing. The result was a severe and cold style, which characterized the works of this period, until 1890. In the last decade of the century, his art returned to the paradigms of the early work, with a particular penchant for domestic scenes and female nudes. At the beginning of the twentieth century, his health conditions were rapidly deteriorated due to severe arthritis. In the last years of his life, he painted with difficulty, but he never interrupted its production, arriving to tie brushes to his wrists in order to continue his work. He died in December 1919, shortly after finishing his latest masterpiece, “The Bathers”.