Limoges 1841 – Cagnes-sur-Mer 1919
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born February 25 th 1841 in Limoges. In 1845, he left Limoges to settle in Paris with his family. Renoir became an apprentice in a porcelain decoration workshop between 1854 and 1858 while attending drawing evening classes.
Admitted in 1862 at the School of Fine Arts, he studied under Swiss painter Charles Gleyre (1806-1874). He met Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille who shared with him their admiration for Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Camille Corot, Edouard Manet and more.
He achieved his first successes at the Salon of 1868, where he exhibited Lise with an umbrella, result of many studies on light and water reflections, which would lead to Impressionism.
In 1872 and 1873, Renoir was refused at the Salon, but this did not prevent his reputation from growing. The art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel already followed his work as well as Emile Zola and other critics. In 1874, he participated in the first Impressionist exhibition.
From 1876, Renoir settled in Montmartre and produced numerous scenes of life such as Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette. In 1881, The Boating Party Lunch would mark the culmination of this period.
He subsequently traveled through Algeria, Milan, Venice, Florence, Jersey and Guernsey. His style changed, Renoir developed an interest in marins and landscapes to wich he gave a smoother touch and a sharper drawing. His style became more classic and surpassed Impressionism.
In 1903, he settled in the South of France in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where he died in 1919. The last part of his life would be marked by a painting of « eternity » that combined mythological scenes (The Judgement of Paris, several versions), odalisques, portraits (Gabrielle and a Rose, 1911), and still lifes.