Through the Eyes of Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Meet the man and put yourself in his paintings

Whether he was rolling freely about his studio in his quaint wheelchair or scampering giddily across the second floor balcony of the Fournaise Restaurant, Renoir intimately demonstrates the triumphs and trials of his life, while delightfully painting The Luncheon of the Boating Party. “Never serious, always on holiday”, Renoir’s 65 minute monologue is accompanied by vivid slides of his work, by demonstrations of his artistic concerns, and re-enactments with volunteers from the audience of some of his famous paintings including The Two Sisters, The Clam Diggers, and The Luncheon of the Boating Party.

While capturing the joy of living, “la joie de vivre”, Renoir extols ‘irregularity’ and the uniqueness of each work of art. “I prefer happy painting which lends joyousness to a wall, which very late in life still gives us illusions and sometimes joy, its purpose being to delight us.”

Son of a tailor and a dress-maker, Renoir was apprenticed to a porcelain painter and learned to paint in the style of the 18th century, that of the Rococo artists. As the only major impressionist from the working class, Renoir never lost his light, soft, and graceful approach to depicting people or landscapes. While creating his masterpieces, Renoir’s subjects were caressed by his brush, as if teasing the painting surface with a multitude of butterfly wings.

Experience the Child-Like Vision of Renoir

Renoir expressed through his painting, his child-like delight with the visible world of everyday life. The most universally-beloved of the impressionists, Renoir’s life was proof that nice people don’t always finish last. The gentle Renoir was well-liked by his colleagues, a good family-man, and appreciated by both impressionist and conservative art lovers. Because of this lifestyle, Renoir was able to enjoy success that came earlier than that of any of his friends.

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