Auguste Renoir (born February 25, 1841 – died December 3, 1919) is one of the founders and main representatives of impressionism, who created his masterpieces in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Renoir is primarily known as a portrait painter. Although he worked in other genres – he painted landscapes and still lifes, naked nature.
The master’s painting is characteristic and recognizable: each work seems to radiate harmony and bright joy. He did not draw battle scenes, he was indifferent to drama and tragic plots. Flowers bloom on his canvases, lush crowns of trees bathe in the sky. In the paintings of Auguste Renoir, people dance and have fun, charming women enjoy life, children play and well-fed cats doze lazily.
Auguste Renoir is an artist who experienced genuine happiness from creativity. This is a rare ability.
Was the artist’s life as happy?
Auguste Renoir, like many impressionists, is characterized by a passive, observant attitude to life. Such people usually feel completely satisfied with her. Again, it is worth recalling the ancient aphorism: “Some come into the world to fight, others to trade, and the happiest ones to watch.”
The artist, in his old age, confessed to his friend Albert André that he felt like a float throughout his life. He was sincerely frightened by the need to make at least some decisions – he preferred to observe.
Renoir is one of the most prolific painters in the world. The master painted about 6,000 works. This means that he painted about a hundred paintings a year. Amazing performance and amazing passion. And once again to the word about happiness. And none of these pictures cause sadness.
Childhood of Auguste Renoir
The father of the future artist, Leonard Renoir, was a tailor, and reasonably considered himself one of the best in the profession. Mother, Marguerite Merle, worked as a seamstress. Three years after the birth of little Pierre Auguste was taken to Paris.
After another 4 years, in 1848, the Renoir family was going through difficult times. The country was undergoing a revolution, many lived in poverty. At the age of seven, Auguste goes to school.
Then, in Paris, humanity had a serious chance to lose the happy paintings of Renoir. The boy had an amazing voice, thanks to which Charles Gounod noticed him. The nine-year-old boy was taken to sing in the Cathedral of Saint-Eustache, and Gounod, the regent of the church choir, began to teach music to Pierre Auguste completely free of charge. He insisted that the future painter become a musician, but this did not happen.
Already at school, Auguste fell in love with drawing. He was especially good at portraits. The father predicted for the future master a career as an artist painting porcelain. At the age of 13, the young man was hired to work in Levy’s workshop at 75 Fossey du Temple. Auguste became a real master of painting.
Alas, his career came to an end when, in 1858, a printing press capable of transferring images to porcelain was revealed to the world. Auguste remained unemployed for several months. He wandered around Paris, not knowing what he wanted to do. But friends of the Renoir family advised him to continue painting.
In 1862, he passed the exam and became a student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Then he took lessons from the famous French artists Emile Signol and Charles Gleyre. It is interesting that Claude Monet, Henri-Pierre Picou and Alfred Sisley studied at Gleyre at different times.
Two years later, in 1864, the Salon agreed to exhibit one of Renoir’s first paintings. The career of a genius lasted six decades. In 1912, he was struck by paralysis and was able to move only in a wheelchair. But the master continued to paint.
His last years were full of recognition, he was respected by eminent artists and sophisticated public, his paintings were exhibited in the Louvre and the London Gallery. In 1919, in the 79th year, Auguste Renoir passed away. They say that the day before this sad event, he released a brush from his fingers and said: “It seems to me that I am beginning to understand something …”