Pierre-Auguste Renoir is considered to be one of the brightest representatives of Impressionist movement. Born in Limoges, France, on February 25, 1841 to a tailor and a seamstress, he did not enjoy wealthy life, unlike some of other painters. His family had many kids and he was the sixth of them. He started his journey to studying art by taking up an apprenticeship to a local porcelain painter, learning about painting techniques and art movements in his free time. His family moved to Paris and lived near the Louvre museum, which has given him the access to studying the masterpieces of renowned artists. He also attended local Paris catholic school.
Being a curious nineteen-year-old in the vicinity of world-famous paintings, Renoir started his learning with copying the works of eminent painters. In a couple of years, he was lucky to be admitted in Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1862. He was taught by famous painter Charles Gleyre. In his studio, he made friends with other promising painters, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Frédéric Bazille, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley.
A couple of years later, in 1864, his work “La Esmeralda” was admitted to exhibition Paris Salon and gained success. The following year he participated in yet another Salon showing with a portrait of William Sisley. However, the relative fame that he obtain due to showings did not bring him means for living. He had no fixed address during his early years as a painter, depending completely on the commissions and kindness of his friends, Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, who often allowed him to work in their studio, and invited him to stay at their houses.
In 1867Auguste met Lise Tréhot, who became a model for his famous paintings “Diana” and “Lise”. There was rumor that they were romantically involved and that Renoir fathered a daughter named Jane with her in 1870. However, he never publicly admitted to it during his lifetime.
Although he was drafted in cavalry during the French war against Germans, he never saw action, as he came down with dysentery. Nevertheless, he suffered loss during the war, as his close friend, Frédéric Bazille was killed the same year.
After the war and in cooperation with his friends Monet, Cézanne, Degas, and Pissaro, he organized an exhibition in 1871, which was later called the first Impressionist exhibition. Although it was not very successful, they managed to attract some patrons from wealthy Parisians, who later invited Renoir to all their social gatherings. He was commissioned a portrait, known as "Madame Charpentier and her Children", which finally brought him much needed fame and success.
Money from the commissions allowed him to travel in 1880’s. He visited Italy, Algeria, Naples, among many other locations. Journeys brought inspiration, which is why three of his most famous works "Dance at Bougival", "Dance in the Country", and "Dance in the City" were created during these years.
His fame and growing price on the commissions have allowed him to settle down and marry his girlfriend Aline Charigot, who bore three sons Pierre, Claude and Jean. Wife and children brought new inspiration and motives to his work. Unfortunately, in 1890’s his work became hard for him, as he started suffering from rheumatism. He continued working despite the disease, which disfigured his fingers and even tried his hand at sculpting. In 1919, his painting was bought by Louvre – a rare honor for the living artist. He died the same year at his residence in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France and was buried beside his wife in Essoyes, France.
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