Renoir Etchings & Lithographs
Often a favorite with art lovers alike, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is best known for his feminine and ethereal compositions of everyday life among women and children. This 19th century artist was able to capture the French sensibility of a bourgeoning industrial revolution through his numerous paintings and prints. We proudly feature some of Renoir's most coveted etchings and lithographs which have been able to capture his genius and artistry as one of history's greatest Impressionists. [Read biography »]
Pierre-Auguste Renoir Biography
French painter born in Limoges, died in Cagnes. He was the son of a tailor. In 1845 his family moved to Paris. Between 1856 and 1859 he took an apprenticeship and then worked as a porcelain painter, also taking evening classes in drawing. Renoir then studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He was a fellow student of Monet, Sisley and Bazille; he went on summer painting trips with them to Chailly and Fountainbleau. He studied the eighteenth century paintings in the Louvre and also met Corot, Millet and Diaz. In 1864 his work was first accepted at the Salon. During the 1870s he painted with Monet at Argenteuil and elsewhere, and came to know Cezanne, Degas, and Pissarro. In 1874 his work was included in the first Impressionist exhibition (and in three of the subsequent seven.) He had little public success but was patronized by Caillebotte, Chocquet and others. From the late 1870s on he enjoyed increased success at the Salons, especially with portraiture. Eventually, he became dissatisfied with Impressionism and felt renewed admiration for Ingres, Raphael and eighteenth-century art. During the 1880s he worked increasingly in the south of France. Renoir's early work as a porcelain painter reflects two constant characteristics of his art: an enormous natural facility and a dedication to eighteenth century standards of decoration and craftsmanship. Apart from the personality of his brushwork, the main distinction of his 1870s Impressionism was his preoccupation with the figure as subject matter and particularly with the gay vitality of Parisian life. Less rigorously introspective than Monet, he made his reputation at the Salons from the late 1870s with a series of fashionable portraits. Here his dexterity was combined with anecdotal charm. Many of Renoir's sculptures he made at the end of his life are direct transpositions of painted motifs. These were largely made by an assistant (a pupil of Maillol), because of his crippling arthritis.¹ Renoir also used a moving canvas to facilitate painting with his limited mobility.
¹ Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art.
Renoir's characteristic brushstroke and artistry show through in his original etchings. His colorful lithographs and prints show Louis Valtat, the Dance in the Country, and women bathing. Renoir's romantic and light-hearted style, his nudes and flowers, will please any collector.
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