Saturday, April 28, 2012

Renoir, Pierre August

Children on the Seashore, Guernsy
Oil on canvas
66.5 x 91.5 cm (26.2 x 36.0 inch)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." (Renoir)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.

In 1854 he began work as a painter in a porcelain factory in Paris, gaining experience with the light, fresh colors that were to distinguish his Impressionist work and also learning the importance of good craftsmanship. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling color and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the Impressionist movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women.

He is perhaps the best-loved of all the Impressionists, for his subjects - pretty children, flowers, beautiful scenes, above all lovely women - have instant appeal. His paintings present a vision of a forgotten world, full of sparkling color and light.
Renoir once said: "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world."