Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Artist Who Strived For Art

Pierre Auguste Renoir featured image

An artist always seeks inspiration in some of the most basic things and yet makes it effortlessly presentable so that they turn out to be one of the most famous paintings.

And Pierre-Auguste Renoir was no lesser; he used his paintbrush to create astonishing artworks that left his audience in awe.

He was not just an impressionist artist; he also played an important role in the era of modern art.

He has been known as one of the most influential and famous painters of all time.

His life was not a smooth-sailing ride, but he still managed to fight against the odds, and he created art that justified his creativity.

Renoir was known as someone who celebrated feminine sensuality and was also involved in leading the movement of Impressionism. 

Does it intrigue you to learn more about a man like Renoir?

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Then, here is all you need to know about the great French artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 

Early Years and Life

Early life of Pierre Auguste Renoir
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In 1841, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France. 

In 1844, Renoir’s family moved to Paris in search of better opportunities because his father, Leonard Renoir, was a tailor with modest financial means.

His mother was a dressmaker, and his father was a tailor; maybe that is the reason Renoir was heavily interested in clothing and vibrant works.

Although the young Renoir had a natural proclivity for drawing, he exhibited a greater talent for singing.

His mentor, Charles Gounod, who at the time was the choirmaster at the Church of St. Roch, encouraged him in his talent.

Not only this, Renoir studied at a music school until his family was struck with financial problems, which later resulted in Renoir working as a painter in the porcelain factory. 

Despite the talent he showed in his work, Renoir frequently grew weary of the subject and sought solace in the Louvre’s galleries. 

Renoir began taking lessons to get ready for admission to the Ecole des Beaux Arts after learning about his apprentice’s talent from the factory owner and being told of it. 

As soon as industrialization took over the labor work in Renoir’s factory in 1858, he was forced to quit the job and find other sources to support his passion. 

Suggested Read: Guernica by Picasso

Art Career

Pierre Auguste Renoir, sitting and painting on a canvas
Image Source: GettyImages

Pierre Auguste Renoir was one of the leading painters of the Impressionist group.

He was the man behind evolving the technique of broken brushstrokes, and he is the one who used bold combinations of pure complementary colors. 

He used it to capture the light and movement of his landscapes and figurative subjects. 

From the 18th century until the 20th century, Renoir developed a monumental, classically inspired style that influenced artists like Pablo Picasso.

Renoir had his own color theory, and he rarely used colors like black and brown.

He also had a theory that he shared with his friend and fellow Frenchman, Claude Monet, the artists all together had different takes on shadows. 

Even though Renoir had a rough start at his career he still managed to turn it into a beautiful journey.

Where he not only set new rules in the world of art but he also inspired the aspiring artists to grow and start learning the techniques of Impressionism. 

Suggested Read: Color Study by Kandinsky

Who Influenced Him?

The artists who influenced Pierre Auguste Renoir
Image Source: Wikipedia, Compiled by PortraitFlip

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, in his early career, spent a lot of time sketching on the Seine river banks at Asnieres, Argenteuil, and Chatou.

He was accompanied by his friends and fellow Frenchman Claude Monet, who was a well-known artist himself.

It was during this time when they used to meet and sit together to create art, that the two young artists developed Impressionism. 

They experimented with vibrant colors and vivid subjects.

To your surprise, it was at this time that, while practicing, Renoir and Monet came to the realization that the colors of shadows were not brown or black.

But, the reflected color of the objects surrounding them is what matters when the light strikes the surface. 

While practicing with other artists, Renoir became a master at depicting facial expressions. He tended to paint youthful portraits.

Most of his fellowmen were artists or writers who acted either as his muse or accompanied him during the creation of his artwork.

Suggested Read: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Renoir and Impressionism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was the first Impressionist to conclude that art is not something that is limited to a person’s vision.

It goes beyond that, and the things that make it special are the optical sensation, light effects, and colors that an artist might have used.

Renoir was basically associated with the Impressionist movement, and his early works were typically snapshots of real life.

His artworks were full of sparkling lights, colors, and human faces.

In 1876, one of Renoir’s artworks, named Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, blew up and became the best known painting of Impressionism.

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This painting depicts an open-air scene filled with crowded people at a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmarte, close to where he lived.

When Renoir first started putting his artworks out to the public, they had a hard time accepting a strange and new painting style that was far away from classical references.

At the end of the day, people could not connect with the Impressionist paintings and felt that they were vague and not made with sincerity.

Nevertheless, Renoir continued to create his art, and over time, his work rose to fame and gained the attention of some of the biggest art critics and museums.

Also Read: Composition VII by Kandinsky

Art Style and Techniques

Renoir sitting on his wheelchair and painting
Image Source: BMJ

Renoir’s style witnessed and observed the creation of open-air landscapes, family scenes, and monumental portraits such as the Luncheon of the Boating Party.

His subjects that he chose were always light-hearted and they brimmed with life, light, and realism. 

He was also claimed to be a worshipper of female figures, as much of Renoir’s paintings from the later era revolved around nude women and buxom women.

Pierre Auguste Renoir dedicated his life to creating the art he loved, and he strived to make it better each and every day.

Later in his career, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s style changed again, and he opted for stronger colors that often included red and orange.

He has also stated that female nudity was his favorite subject, and he freely-brushed the spots in his artworks when working with them.

Renoir’s paintings are characterized by their use of vibrant light, and the artist used this masterfully, portraying his subjects both vividly and spontaneously.

The painting Bal au Moulin de la Galette is a great example of Renoir’s technique and is a renowned Impressionist painting .

Suggested Read: Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam

Famous Artworks by Renoir

Despite the Impressionist elements in his earlier works, he later distanced himself from the movement and drew inspiration from classical art.

He is most known for his depictions of women, evolving Parisian society, and domestic scenes. 

Take a look at some of the most famous works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 

Also Read: About Wassily Kandinsky

Bal du moulin de la Galette- 

Bal du moulin de la Galette is a famous painting by Renoir
Image Source: Wikipedia

Luncheon of the Boating Party–  

Luncheon of the Boating Party is a famous painting by Renoir
Image Source: Etsy

La Grenouillère- 

La Grenouillere is a famous painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Image Source: Wikipedia

Final years 

Renoir painting in his final years
Image Source: GettyImages

Even though Renoir’s life was smooth-sailing, as a matter of fact, not all good things last forever. 

Around 1892, he developed rheumatoid arthritis, which severely affected his ability to create art.

Progressive deformities were visible in Renoir’s hands and the ankylosis of his right shoulder, which ultimately led him to change his painting techniques.

He relocated in 1907 to “Les Collettes,” a farm in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, near the paintings, where it was warmer. 

Renoir completed his work for a good six to seven years, but his condition kept getting worse.

He witnessed his artworks in the Louvre museum, and unfortunately, Renoir died in Cagnes-sur-Mer on December 3, 1919, at the age of 78.

Suggested Read: About Vincent Van Gogh


Renoir was also extremely open to later influences, both in his life and ideas.

Despite the fact that his work was rejected more times by the Salon and the art critics in the beginning of his career.

Renoir still managed to face the odds, and he fought against his drive to create more and more realistic Impressions of the subjects of his paintings.

Once you take a look at the paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, you will understand what I am talking about!

And, you will be tempted to own one of his artworks.

Wondering how you can get your hands on one of his artworks?

Well, the real copies are housed in some of the most prestigious museums, like the Louvre, but you can get a replica made for yourself.

The quality is assured to be that of a museum, and it will be hand-painted for you by professional artists.


Author’s Note

If you are still here, then thank you so much for staying till the end!

This was all about the life of an amazing artist, Pierre Auguste Renoir.

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Bye bye


What disability did Renoir have?

Renoir suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, he still managed to create some of the most impeccable pieces of artwork.

What technique did Renoir use in the creation of his art?

Pierre was a leading Impressionist painter, and he invented the broken brushstroke technique.

In what year did Renoir die?

Renoir died on December 3, 1919, in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.

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