Pierre-Auguste Renoir Biography
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on February 25, 1841, in the city of Limoges, France, and died on December 3, 1919, in the city of Cagnes-sur-Mer, belonging to the Alpes-Maritimes, France. It is recognized for expressing an erotic dimension in the impressionist style, inspired by female bodies. In life, he was taken as a fundamental figure of art by colleagues and critics. His paintings are also marked by a tendency to happiness and the pursuit of beauty.
Pierre came into the world in the bosom of a family of humble status as the sixth of seven children. His father Léonard Renoir made his living as a tailor, while his mother Marguerite Merlet carried out sewing tasks. Due to the deplorable financial situation, the family moved to Paris in 1844 in search of better opportunities.
In 1848, he began his education in a school belonging to the Brothers of Christian Schools, in this place noted for his singing ability that led him to be part of the choir in the church Saint Eustache.
In 1854, the situation of the family continued without being encouraging, reason why he abandoned his studies and began to receive learning regarding the technique of porcelain painting in free class workshops. The young Pierre showed markedly accelerated progress, so he began to designate jobs only for professionals. Émile Laporte, a co-worker, was the first to notice the painting skills that young Pierre presented when he lent him some materials for oil painting, so he tried to convince his family to pay for painting studies.
Due to the proximity of the Renoir family to the Louvre museum, Pierre remained constantly inside this place, which marked his inspiration for classical art. However, the influences were not limited only to this space, because since he was a child he was aware of the beauty present in the structures of the Parisian streets and their characters. Approximately in the year of 1858, he carried out different works, among them: decorated with fans, lamps, and blinds, he also made engravings on shields and weapons for his brother Henri. In this time the money that he used to collect it was used to obtain materials that he would have in his oil paintings, the first of these were portraits.
“Impressionism eliminated my dry and brought me to the conclusion that could not paint or draw.”
In 1862, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, similarly enrolled in the workshop of the Swiss painter Charles Gleyre. In this place, he would establish friendly relations with Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. While performing his studies he participated in multiple art competitions, being recognized in drawing techniques, perspective anatomy and imitation of other works, which demonstrated his experience. In 1863, the workshop of Gleyre closed its doors, at the same time that Pierre underwent a terrible economic stage.
At the beginning of 1863, the production of paintings influenced by the use of color present in the works of Eugène Delacroix and the different light treatments used by Claude Monet began. To survive, Delacroix worked making portraits of portraits, a path that would lead him to meet Lise Tréhot, a woman who would become his principal muse between 1865 and 1872. With the arrival of the war between France and Prussia in 1870, he was sent to be part of the cavalry of the French army. Due to a disease that overwhelmed him, he was remitted to the hospital in Bordeaux and a year later was exempted from serving in the army.
Due to constant rejections of his works to be exhibited in The Official Hall, being destined to the Hall of the Rejected, look for a new place that allowed him to show his paintings with total freedom. In 1860, in the company of many of his colleagues, they finally exhibit their works of art in a place arranged by the photographer Gaspard Félix Tournachon. In 1874, with the willingness to gather the majority of Impressionist-style painters, an art exhibition was held, Renoir presented some of his works for this event, attracting good attention from the public.
In 1876, a new exhibition of Impressionist art was organized, in this event, one of his most famous and most representative paintings of the impressionist style appeared: The Moulin de la Galette. Between 1881 and 1882, his constant trips influenced the landscapes that represent his works, being these very varied. Towards 1883, he felt the need to vary the impressionist style because the lack of elements, thus developing his own style in the use of colors, strokes, and themes, loading his later paintings with eroticism.
Due to the austere periods, added to the late recognition of his work, Renoir never maintained good health. In his last years, he was affected by respiratory diseases, rheumatism, pains and muscular paralysis, which forced him to remain prostrate for long periods of time. The outbreak of the First World War brought a chain of bad news about his children that plunged him into a deep depression. In 1919, he died of pneumonia at the museum Domaine des Collettes, after finishing his last “still-life.”