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.