Pierre Auguste Renoir was born on February 25, 1841. It’s not particularly original to claim him as one of my favorite artists, since so many people love the work of this prolific Impressionist, but I can live with that. He was born in Limoges, France, home to all those tacky tourist trinkets made of porcelain, but also where some rather exquisite dinnerware is born. Renoir worked as a decorative painter and studied great works at the Louvre in his spare time.
In 1862, he enrolled in art school in Paris, where he made friends with artists such as Albert Sisley and Claude Monet. Together, they created a new style of painting based on being outside or en plein air and using much looser brush strokes. The idea was not to slavishly reproduce reality, but to create an “impression” of the original.
Over a long career, he painted about 1,000 canvases: nudes, still lifes, and portraits. Crippled by arthritis and confined to a wheelchair, he continued to create, although he needed help from others to realize his visions. If the Chicago Museum of Art would like, I’d be glad to look after Sur la terrace for them. (The English title is Two Sisters, On the terrace.) Perhaps they need to redecorate.
Today’s expression, la douleur passe, la beauté reste, (lah doolur pass, la bowtay rest) is a quotation attributed to Renoir at the end of his life as his response when he was asked why he continued to paint when it was so physically difficult for him. It means “pain passes, beauty remains.” Well said.
- Renoir: Inspiration for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers (arthritis.answers.com)
- Unique Film of Pierre-Auguste Renoir Painting (1915) (freezomblandia.wordpress.com)
- Renoir Paintings Epitome Of Impressionism Era (richestlist.wordpress.com)