Pick one of Renoir paintings from the powerpoint and describe it in your own words. What is your interpretation of the painting? How can you extend the meaning of the painting beyond the Algerian people or places depicted on the canvas?
Why is it striking that the paintings in no way portray the French presence in Algeria? How is Renoir’s focus on Arab Algeria orientalism and how does it conceal the violence of imperialism? How are these paintings modern?
(born February 25, 1841, Limoges, France—died December 3, 1919, Cagnes)
Pierre Auguste Renoir (born February 25, 1841, Limoges, France—died December 3, 1919, Cagnes) French painter originally associated with the Impressionist movement. He was one of the central figures of the impressionist movement (a French art movement of the second half of the nineteenth century whose members sought in their works to represent the first impression of an object upon the viewer). His work is characterized by a richness of feeling and a warmth of response to the world and to the people in it.
His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women.
Renoir was so passionate about painting that he even continued when he was old and suffering from severe arthritis. Renoir then painted with the brush tied to his wrists.
French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was not only a leading figure in 19th-century art, but he also had a central role in the Impressionist movement. Together with Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, he would go on to forge a new path and reject the classical tradition of academic French painting. After exhibiting his work in the First Impressionist Exhibition of 1874, Renoir became a successful and sought after painter.
The son of a tailor, Renoir grew up close to the Louvre; its galleries would become his refuge. Eventually, he started taking art lessons under Charles Gleyre, where he would meet a group of budding artists who form a tight bond—Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. Though Renoir would have some of his work accepted by the prestigious Paris Salon, his road to success was slow until he decided to abandon the system and work with his friends to form the then-underground Impressionist movement.
Renoir’s Impressionist paintings not only made him a leader in the movement but have earned him a reputation as one of the great painters of the 19th century. Known for his vibrant use of color and spectacular depiction of light, Renoir created artwork that documents life during Belle Époque Paris. Let’s explore five of Renoir’s most famous paintings to see how this French master contributed to the history of art.