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Pierre Aguste Renoir (1841-1919)

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Written by   10
9 months ago

He was born in Limoges, France. The family moved to Paris when Renoir was young. He was apprenticed to a porcelain painter at the age of fourteen and was engaged in this business until 1858. During these years, he gained experience in light and bright color. He spent seventeen years painting the great painters on fans, chandeliers and curtains. In 1862 he entered the studio of Marc-Gabriel-Charles Gleyer, a student of Ingres's, and formed lasting friendships with a group of painters who would become Impressionists, Monet, Sisley, and Bazzile. . However, apart from these artists, who at that time mocked the "sublime styles" of the classical, Renoir attached great importance to these masters and carefully studied their paintings.

Renoir led a poor life. Together with Monet, who was penniless like himself, they set up their easels on the banks of the Seine (the origin of Impressionism). The paintings of these two painters were so similar that forty years later, when they looked at the paintings of this period, Monet would not be able to tell which one belonged to him. They used the same brushstrokes and the same bee colors.

Renoir was impressed by Monet's use of light, but he painted human depictions rather than nature like Monet. Another person influenced by the artist was Delacroix. Renoir was particularly impressed by its colours. While these studies were going on, Renoir started to take painting and anatomy lessons at the Academy of Fine Arts with the money he had saved. But he never liked the academic point of view. On the other hand, he did not fail to take the basic knowledge and discipline that he gave him to become a painter. During this period, Raphael, Titian, and Rubens were painters he always admired and studied carefully. The place where he lived reflected a cultural milieu of typical 18th century philosophy. The moral structure of a period when the middle class enjoyed life was also evident in Renoir's paintings. Especially in his youth, the artist reflected the joy, happiness and slackness of this mood in his paintings. His first success was with the painting "Esmeralda Dancing With Her Deer Around the Fire". In 1864, this painting was exhibited in Paris, at the Salon, the official exhibition palace of France. But for some unknown reason, Renoir destroyed this painting after the exhibition. This caused it to be rejected at the 1866 exhibition. However, in the following years, his paintings began to be accepted on a regular basis.

Although he began to have success as a portrait painter in 1870, it did not become an economic success for a long time. On the contrary, the artist often had to eat his paintings and exchange them for supplies. By 1873, Salon again rejected the artist's paintings because of the way he used colors. The following year, Renoir, Monet and other artists attempted to organize a new exhibition to be used with this exhibition. A year later, a new exhibition opened outside the Salon in the spring. This exhibition, which was the first exhibition of the Impressionists, did not make them feel pessimistic, although it did not satisfy them. The following year, however, at the exhibition, the audience became so aggressive during an auction that the police eventually had to intervene. This aggression, unfortunately, did not happen because of who first snatched the pictures. On the contrary, according to one critic, one had to "stand fifty feet away and squint" to be able to look at these pictures.

 Renoir had an accommodating personality. After reapplying to the Salon in 1878, he began to distance himself from the Impressionists. He was largely relieved of monetary concerns when, in 1881, a merchant began to purchase his paintings regularly. The following year, he openly said that he wanted to get away from the revolutionary appearance that he said scared him. When he came to these years, Renoir now saw himself as "as far as Impressionism can take" and he no longer found the "visual" side of this movement to be satisfactory and thought that it was "a dead end". This separation could not be explained only by the accommodating personality.

The main reason why he moved away from the Impressionists was his trip to Italy. During this journey he discovered the great Italian oil painters. This strengthened his criticism of Impressionism. When he returned, he decided to strive to achieve a greater unity in his paintings.

 Among the painters he admired at the time were Courbert, Watteau, and Fragonard, and what set him apart from the Impressionists was “the thought that it would be very useful to study the paintings of the great masters still in the museum. For Impressionists tended to reject the past and the classical. The Impressionists reflected the classical 18th century morality and argued that it was on the way for the better. But Renoir believed that evil could also enter the picture, and that what happened happened in narrowness. So he had a pessimistic attitude. The artist, who came to the conclusion that "there is nothing but the classic" in time, believed that an artist, no matter how skilled he was, always had a lot of new things to learn. The work that shows this change is the painting called Umbrellas. Umbrellas that show the artist's change.

 In the 1880s, it is seen that Renoir gradually moved away from the light colors of Impressionism. At the same time, during this period, he intensely attempted to paint young girls in obscure environments. As his style became masterful and simple, he turned to mythological themes and his preferred woman type matured and grew. Renoir preferred French masters over Richard Wagner, who was considered one of the greatest composers of the time. In 1887 he completed a series of nude paintings known as The Bathers. In 1897, the family moved to Cagnes, near Nice, shortly after the artist fell ill with rheumatism. In the following years, Renoir's rheumatism weakened him further, and from 1903 he had to live in the heat of southern France.

 By 1912 his rheumatism had progressed so much that he could no longer walk without an armchair. Despite this, he was determined to continue painting until the last days of his life. He thought that every piece of beauty he added to history was snow. Lately he has been tying a brush between his fingers, working on his paintings that way. During this period, he also took up sculpture, and since he could not afford it, he managed the assistants he had with him and used their hands as his own. His wife died in 1915, exhausted from caring for their injured son in World War I. He died four years later.

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Written by   10
9 months ago
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