Pierre-Auguste Renoir, A French Expressionist Artist, A video about Renoir’s portrait paintings

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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.”

Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885-1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894-1979) and filmmaker Claude Renoir (1901-69).

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, the child of a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to his being chosen to paint designs on fine china. He also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans before he enrolled in art school. During those early years, he often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth, which sweeps you along in his passion.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“When I’ve painted a woman’s bottom so that I want to touch it, then [the painting] is finished.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“Shall I tell you what I think are the two qualities of a work of art? First, it must be the indescribable, and second, it must be inimitable.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“I consider women who are authors, lawyers and politicians are monsters.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“It is after you have lost your teeth that you can afford to buy steaks.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“If the painter works directly from nature, he ultimately looks for nothing but momentary effects; he does not try to compose, and soon he gets monotonous.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“In painting, as in the other arts, there’s not a single process, no matter how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula. You come to nature with your theories, and she knocks them all flat.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Works of Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Portrait of Alfred Sisley, 1868
Portrait of Claude Monet, 1875, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
Portrait of Berthe Morisot and daughter Julie Manet, 1894
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1908
Portrait of Paul Durand-Ruel, 1910
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1917