Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (US:
/rɛnˈwɑːr/ or UK: /ˈrɛnwɑːr/; French: [pjɛʁ oɡyst
ʁənwaʁ]; 25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist
who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist
style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality,
it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a
tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."
He was the father of actor
Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean
Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist
Claude Renoir (1901–1969).
He was the grandfather of the filmmaker
Claude Renoir (1913–1993),
son of Pierre.
1.3 Later years
2.1 Catalogue raisonné
2.2 Posthumous prints
2.3 Posthumous sales
3 Gallery of paintings
3.3 Interactive image
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
The Theater Box, 1874, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, in
1841. His father, Léonard Renoir, was a tailor of modest means, so in
1844, Renoir's family moved to
Paris in search of more favorable
prospects. The location of their home, in rue d’
central Paris, placed Renoir in proximity to the Louvre. Although the
young Renoir had a natural proclivity for drawing, he exhibited a
greater talent for singing. His talent was encouraged by his teacher,
Charles Gounod, who was the choir-master at the Church of St Roch at
the time. However, due to the family’s financial circumstances,
Renoir had to discontinue his music lessons and leave school at the
age of thirteen to pursue an apprenticeship at a porcelain
Although Renoir displayed a talent for his work, he frequently tired
of the subject matter and sought refuge in the galleries of the
Louvre. The owner of the factory recognized his apprentice’s talent
and communicated this to Renoir’s family. Following this, Renoir
started taking lessons to prepare for entry into Ecole des Beaux Arts.
When the porcelain factory adopted mechanical reproduction processes
in 1858, Renoir was forced to find other means to support his
learning. Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted
hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans.
In 1862, he began studying art under
Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he
met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. At times,
during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Renoir
had his first success at the Salon of 1868 with his painting Lise with
a Parasol (1867), which depicted Lise Tréhot, his lover at the
time. Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the
Paris Salon in 1864, recognition was slow in coming, partly as a
result of the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War.
Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of
Seine River, some
Communards thought he was a spy and were about
to throw him into the river, when a leader of the Commune, Raoul
Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an
In 1874, a ten-year friendship with Jules Le Cœur and his family
ended, and Renoir lost not only the valuable support gained by the
association but also a generous welcome to stay on their property near
Fontainebleau and its scenic forest. This loss of a favorite painting
location resulted in a distinct change of subjects.
Renoir was inspired by the style and subject matter of previous modern
Camille Pissarro and Edouard Manet. After a series of
rejections by the Salon juries, he joined forces with Monet, Sisley,
Pissarro, and several other artists to mount the first Impressionist
exhibition in April 1874, in which Renoir displayed six paintings.
Although the critical response to the exhibition was largely
unfavorable, Renoir's work was comparatively well received. That
same year, two of his works were shown with
Durand-Ruel in London.
The Swing (La Balançoire), 1876, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Hoping to secure a livelihood by attracting portrait commissions,
Renoir displayed mostly portraits at the second Impressionist
exhibition in 1876. He contributed a more diverse range of
paintings the next year when the group presented its third exhibition;
they included Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette and The Swing.
Renoir did not exhibit in the fourth or fifth Impressionist
exhibitions, and instead resumed submitting his works to the Salon. By
the end of the 1870s, particularly after the success of his painting
Mme Charpentier and her Children (1878) at the Salon of 1879, Renoir
was a successful and fashionable painter.
Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette), 1876
In 1881, he traveled to Algeria, a country he associated with Eugène
Delacroix, then to Madrid, to see the work of Diego Velázquez.
Following that, he traveled to Italy to see Titian's masterpieces in
Florence and the paintings of
Raphael in Rome. On 15 January 1882,
Renoir met the composer
Richard Wagner at his home in Palermo, Sicily.
Renoir painted Wagner's portrait in just thirty-five minutes. In the
same year, after contracting pneumonia which permanently damaged his
respiratory system, Renoir convalesced for six weeks in Algeria.
In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, one of the islands in
English Channel with a varied landscape of beaches, cliffs, and
bays, where he created fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most
of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin's, Guernsey. These
paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps
issued by the Bailiwick of
Guernsey in 1983.
While living and working in Montmartre, Renoir employed Suzanne
Valadon as a model, who posed for him (The Large Bathers, 1884–87;
Dance at Bougival, 1883) and many of his fellow painters; during
that time she studied their techniques and eventually became one of
the leading painters of the day.
In 1887, the year when
Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee,
and upon the request of the queen's associate, Phillip Richbourg,
Renoir donated several paintings to the "French Impressionist
Paintings" catalog as a token of his loyalty.
In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, a dressmaker twenty
years his junior, who, along with a number of the artist's
friends, had already served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party – she is the woman on the left
playing with the dog) in 1881, and with whom he had already had a
child, Pierre, in 1885. After his marriage, Renoir painted many
scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and
their nurse, Aline's cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three
Pierre Renoir (1885-1952), who became a stage and film actor;
Jean Renoir (1894-1979), who became a filmmaker of note; and Claude
Renoir (1901-1969), who became a ceramic artist.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, c. 1910
Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1907, he moved
to the warmer climate of "Les Collettes," a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer,
close to the Mediterranean coast. Renoir painted during the last
twenty years of his life even after his arthritis severely limited his
mobility. He developed progressive deformities in his hands and
ankylosis of his right shoulder, requiring him to change his painting
technique. It has often been reported that in the advanced stages of
his arthritis, he painted by having a brush strapped to his paralyzed
fingers, but this is erroneous; Renoir remained able to grasp a
brush, although he required an assistant to place it in his hand.
The wrapping of his hands with bandages, apparent in late photographs
of the artist, served to prevent skin irritation.
In 1919, Renoir visited the
Louvre to see his paintings hanging with
those of the old masters. During this period, he created sculptures by
cooperating with a young artist, Richard Guino, who worked the clay.
Due to his limited joint mobility, Renoir also used a moving canvas,
or picture roll, to facilitate painting large works.
Renoir's portrait of Austrian actress
Tilla Durieux (1914) contains
playful flecks of vibrant color on her shawl that offset the classical
pose of the actress and highlight Renoir's skill just five years
before his death.
Renoir died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte
d'Azur, on 3 December 1919.
Girls at the Piano, 1892, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Renoir's paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated
color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid
compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. In
characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a
scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures
softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.
Two Sisters, oil on canvas, 1881, Art Institute of Chicago
His initial paintings show the influence of the colorism of Eugène
Delacroix and the luminosity of Camille Corot. He also admired the
Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet, and his early work
resembles theirs in his use of black as a color. Renoir admired Edgar
Degas' sense of movement. Another painter Renoir greatly admired was
the 18th-century master François Boucher.
A fine example of Renoir's early work and evidence of the influence of
Courbet's realism, is Diana, 1867. Ostensibly a mythological subject,
the painting is a naturalistic studio work; the figure carefully
observed, solidly modeled and superimposed upon a contrived landscape.
If the work is a "student" piece, Renoir's heightened personal
response to female sensuality is present. The model was Lise Tréhot,
the artist's mistress at that time, and inspiration for a number of
In the late 1860s, through the practice of painting light and water en
plein air (outdoors), he and his friend
Claude Monet discovered that
the color of shadows is not brown or black, but the reflected color of
the objects surrounding them, an effect known today as diffuse
reflection. Several pairs of paintings exist in which Renoir and Monet
worked side-by-side, depicting the same scenes (La Grenouillère,
One of the best known Impressionist works is Renoir's 1876 Dance at Le
Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette). The painting
depicts an open-air scene, crowded with people at a popular dance
garden on the Butte Montmartre close to where he lived. The works of
his early maturity were typically Impressionist snapshots of real
life, full of sparkling color 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. It
was a trip to Italy in 1881 when he saw works by
Raphael and other
Renaissance masters, that convinced him that he was on the wrong path,
and for the next several years he painted in a more severe style in an
attempt to return to classicism. Concentrating on his drawing and
emphasizing the outlines of figures, he painted works such as Blonde
Bather (1881 and 1882) and The Large Bathers (1884–87; Philadelphia
Museum of Art) during what is sometimes called his "Ingres
After 1890 he changed direction again. To dissolve outlines, as in his
earlier work, he returned to thinly brushed color. From this period
onward he concentrated on monumental nudes and domestic scenes, fine
examples of which are Girls at the Piano, 1892, and Grandes
Baigneuses, 1887. The latter painting is the most typical and
successful of Renoir's late, abundantly fleshed nudes.
A prolific artist, he created several thousand paintings. The warm
sensuality of Renoir's style made his paintings some of the most
well-known and frequently reproduced works in the history of art. The
single largest collection of his works—181 paintings in all—is at
the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia.
A five-volume catalogue raisonné of Renoir's works (with one
supplement) was published by
Bernheim-Jeune between 1983 and 2014.
Bernheim-Jeune is the only surviving major art dealer that was used by
Wildenstein Institute is preparing, but has not yet
published, a critical catalogue of Renoir's work. A disagreement
between these two organizations concerning an unsigned work in Picton
Castle was at the centre of the second episode of the fourth season of
the television series Fake or Fortune.
In 1919, Ambroise Vollard, a renowned art dealer, published a book on
the life and work of Renoir, La Vie et l'Œuvre de Pierre-Auguste
Renoir, in an edition of 1000 copies. In 1986, Vollard's heirs started
reprinting the copper plates, generally, etchings with hand applied
watercolor. These prints are signed by Renoir in the plate and are
embossed "Vollard" in the lower margin. They are not numbered, dated
or signed in pencil.
One of Renoir's paintings has sold for more than US$70 million.
Bal du moulin de la Galette
Bal du moulin de la Galette sold for $78.1 million May 17, 1990
at Sotheby's New York.
In 2012, Renoir's Paysage Bords de
Seine was offered for sale at
auction but the painting was discovered to have been stolen from the
Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. The sale was cancelled.
Gallery of paintings
Lise Sewing, 1866, Dallas Museum of Art
La Grenouillère, 1868, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
Portrait of Alfred Sisley, 1868
Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873, Wadsworth
Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut
Portrait of Claude Monet, 1875, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
A Girl with a Watering Can, 1876, National Gallery of Art, Washington,
Mme. Charpentier and her children, 1878, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Portrait of Alphonsine Fournaise, 1879, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
By the Water, 1880, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880–1881, The Phillips Collection,
The Piazza San Marco, Venice, 1881 (Minneapolis Institute of Art)
Portrait of Charles and Georges Durand-Ruel, 1882
Dance at Bougival, 1882–1883, (woman at left is painter Suzanne
Valadon), Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Dance in the Country
Dance in the Country (
Aline Charigot and Paul Lhote), 1883, Musée
Pencil study for Dance in the Country, 1883, Honolulu Museum of Art
Children at the Beach at Guernsey, 1883, Barnes Foundation,
Jeune garçon sur la plage d'Yport, 1883, Barnes Foundation,
Girl With a Hoop, 1885, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Girl Braiding Her Hair (Suzanne Valadon), 1885
Still Life: Flowers, 1885, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Tamaris, France, c. 1885 (Minneapolis Institute of Art)
Julie Manet with cat, 1887
Young Girl with Red Hair, 1894
Berthe Morisot and daughter Julie Manet, 1894
Head of a Young Woman, late 19th century (Minneapolis Institute of
Gabrielle Renard and infant son Jean Renoir, 1895
The Artist's Family, 1896, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1908
Portrait of Paul Durand-Ruel, 1910
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1917
Diana the Huntress, 1867, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Nude in the Sun, 1875, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Seated Girl, 1883
The Large Bathers, 1887,
Philadelphia Museum of Art
After The Bath, 1888
Three Bathers, 1895,
Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland, Ohio
National Museum of Serbia, Belgrade
After The Bath, 1910, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
Woman at the Well, 1910
Seated Bather Drying Her Leg, 1914, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
Women Bathers, 1916, National Museum, Stockholm
Bathers, 1918, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
Interactive imagemap of the
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) by
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.).
Hover your mouse over a person in the painting to see their name, and
click to link to an article about them.
(view • discuss)
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) - Details of the Women
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) - Details of the Men
Alphonse Fournaise, Jr.
List of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
^ Read, Herbert: The Meaning of Art, page 127. Faber, 1931.
^ Renoir, Jean: Renoir, My Father, pages 57–67. Collins, 1962.
^ a b Jennings, Guy (2003). History & Techniques of the Great
Masters: Renoir. London: Quantum Publishing Ltd. p. 6.
^ Vollard, Ambroise: Renoir, An Intimate Record, pages 24–29. Knopf,
^ Vollard, page 30.
^ a b c Distel, Anne. "Renoir, Auguste." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art
Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 27 December 2014.
^ Wadley, Nicholas: Renoir, A Retrospective, page 15. Park Lane, 1989.
^ Renoir, Jean, pages 118–21. Different and less life-threatening
versions are offered by Paul Valéry and Vollard. In all accounts,
however, their re-acquaintance led to great celebration.
^ a b Wadley, page 15.
^ Haine, Scott. The History of France (1st ed.). Greenwood Press.
p. 112. ISBN 0-313-30328-2.
^ a b Brodskaja, Natalja (2010). Impressionism. London: Parkstone
Press. p. 114. ISBN 9781844847433.
^ Poulet, A. L., & Murphy, A. R. (1979). Corot to Braque: French
Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, page 117. Boston: The
Museum. ISBN 0-87846-134-5.
^ a b Wadley, page 25.
^ Wadley, pages 371, 374.
^ Renoir, Jean (2001). Renoir, My Father. NYRB Classics. p. 200.
^ Wadley, page 28.
^ André, Albert: Renoir. Crés, 1928.
^ a b c "Boonen, A.; van de Rest, J.; Dequeker, J.; van der Linden,
S.: "How Renoir Coped with Rheumatoid Arthritis". ''British Medical
Journal'', 1997:315:1704–1708". Bmj.com. Retrieved 7 April
^ Rey, Robert: La Peinture française à la fin du XIXe siècle, la
renaissance du sentiment classique : Degas, Renoir, Cézanne,
Gauguin, Seurat, Les Beaux-Arts, Van Oest, 1931 (thesis).
^ "From the Tour: Mary Cassatt" Archived 11 November 2004 at the
Wayback Machine., August Renoir. Retrieved 7 March 2007.
^ Clark, Kenneth: The Nude, pages 154–61. Penguin, 1960.
^ Asked late in life if he felt an affinity to Ingres, he responded:
"I should very much like to". Rey, quoted in Wadley, page 336.
^ "For me, Renoir becomes a really great artist in the late nudes,
above all in Les Grandes Baigneuses". David Sylvester, quoted by
Wadley, page 378
Wildenstein Institute Archived 13 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Renoir Work Sells for $78.1 Million. Auction: The painting 'Au
Moulin de la Galette' is highlight of Sotheby's offering of
Impressionist and modern art. The price is the second highest ever.
Los Angeles Times, 18 May 1990
Claude Roger-Marx (1952). Les Lithographies de Renoir. Monte-Carlo:
Joseph G. Stella (1975). The Graphic Work of Renoir: Catalogue
Raisonne. London: Lund Humphries.
Jean Leymarie et Michel Melot (1971). Les Gravures Des
Impressionistes, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley. Paris: Arts
et Metiers Graphiques.
Kang, Cindy. “Auguste Renoir (1841–1919).” In Heilbrunn Timeline
of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.
Michel Melot (1996). The Impressionist Print. New Haven: Yale
Theodore Duret (1924). Renoir. Paris: Bernheim-Jeune.
Paul Haeserts (1947). Renoir Sculpteur. Bruxelles: Hermès.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (category)
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Works by or about
Pierre-Auguste Renoir at Internet Archive
Avant-Gardist in Retreat, Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 17 June
Impressionism: a centenary exhibition, an exhibition catalog from The
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which
contains material on Renoir (p. 179–200)
Renoir works at the Art Institute of Chicago, a digital catalogue
"Renoir, Firmin Auguste". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.).
Pierre-Auguste Renoir in American public collections, on the French
Sculpture Census website
Renoir, La Promenade on YouTube, (1:49) Frick Collection
Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting,' An Introduction to
the Exhibition on YouTube, (6:14) Frick Collection
Henry O. Havemeyer
William Merritt Chase
Frederick Carl Frieseke
Lilla Cabot Perry
John Henry Twachtman
J. Alden Weir
William Blair Bruce
Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
Maurice Galbraith Cullen
Helen Galloway McNicoll
James Wilson Morrice
Robert Wakeham Pilot
Giovanni Battista Ciolina
Nazmi Ziya Güran
Laura Muntz Lyall
John Peter Russell
Philip Wilson Steer
French Impressionist Cinema
The Impressionists (2006 drama)
In Summer (1868)
Skaters in the Bois de Boulogne
Skaters in the Bois de Boulogne (1868)
La Promenade (1870)
Woman with Parakeet
Woman with Parakeet (1871)
The Harem (1872)
La Parisienne (1874)
La Loge (1874)
The Grands Boulevards
The Grands Boulevards (1875)
Bal du moulin de la Galette
Bal du moulin de la Galette (1876)
The Swing (1876)
A Girl with a Watering Can
A Girl with a Watering Can (1876)
Mother and Children
Mother and Children (1876)
Paysage Bords de
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881)
Pink and Blue (1881)
Two Sisters (On the Terrace)
Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881)
Blonde Bather (1881 and 1882)
The Umbrellas (1880–81, 1885–86)
By the Seashore
By the Seashore (1883)
Dance at Bougival
Dance at Bougival (1883)
Dance in the City
Dance in the City (1883)
Dance in the Country
Dance in the Country (1883)
Les Grandes Baigneuses (1884–87)
Nature morte: fleurs (1885)
Girls at the Piano
Girls at the Piano (1892)
Gabrielle with Open Blouse
Gabrielle with Open Blouse (1907)
The Coast at Cagnes, Sea, Mountains
The Coast at Cagnes, Sea, Mountains (c. 1910)
Portrait of Adèle Besson
Portrait of Adèle Besson (1918)
The Bathers (1918–19)
Family and relations
Aline Charigot (wife)
Pierre Renoir (son)
Jean Renoir (son)
Claude Renoir (son)
Claude Renoir (grandson)
Alain Renoir (grandson)
Sophie Renoir (great-granddaughter)
Gabrielle Renard (nanny, later model)
La Fille de l'eau (1925)
The Little Match Girl (1928)
On purge bébé (1931)
La Chienne (1931)
Night at the Crossroads
Night at the Crossroads (1932)
Boudu Saved from Drowning
Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
Chotard and Company
Chotard and Company (1933)
Madame Bovary (1934)
Life Belongs to Us (1936)
The Crime of Monsieur Lange
The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
Partie de campagne
Partie de campagne (1936)
The Lower Depths (1936)
La Grande Illusion
La Grande Illusion (1937)
La Marseillaise (1938)
La Bête Humaine (1938)
The Rules of the Game
The Rules of the Game (1939)
Swamp Water (1941)
This Land Is Mine (1943)
The Amazing Mrs. Holliday
The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943, uncredited)
The Southerner (1945)
The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)
The Woman on the Beach
The Woman on the Beach (1947)
The River (1951)
The Golden Coach
The Golden Coach (1952)
French Cancan (1955)
Elena and Her Men
Elena and Her Men (1956)
Picnic on the Grass
Picnic on the Grass (1959)
The Elusive Corporal
The Elusive Corporal (1962)
The Doctor's Horrible Experiment (1959)
The Little Theatre of
Jean Renoir (1970)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (father)
Aline Charigot Renoir (mother)
Pierre Renoir (brother)
Catherine Hessling (wife)
Alain Renoir (son)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2126 066X
BNF: cb12529742r (data)