Artist
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French painter

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir
French painter

Birth Date

February 25, 1841

Death Date

December 03, 1919

Sr. Contributor

Renoir started from the bottom, now he's here.

Museums are stacked with his works-individual paintings worth hundreds of millions-and one of the most celebrated (and controversial) legacies of recent times.

Talent evident early on, his parents put him to work painting dishes at a porcelain factory. Still, he enjoyed art-ing so much that he left the factory to do the freelance thing. He took classes between no-pay gigs, spending his time couch surfing and chasing fat gold stars from the elite by submitting to the Salon with little success. Then he fell in with a different crowd: Monet, Pissarro, Cézanne, among others. Powers combined, they were...the Impressionists. Out of the studio, into nature they captured existence somewhere between as it seemed and as it felt. The Salon didn't get it, so the team formed their own exhibition to great acclaim. 

Renoir was concerned with the human figure. Portraits for Georges Charpentier, a rich publisher, brought steady pay. Introductions to Georges's disposable income-heavy bourgeoisie friends brought legit wealth. Finally, he was living the lifestyle of the rich and famous: Traveling, painting Wagner in Naples, and rubbing brilliant elbows with Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola. Ill health in later years could have toppled Renoir, understandably. Rheumatism slowly gnarled his hands until he couldn't hold a brush. He was even left wheelchair bound after a stroke, which was no matter as he had his assistant tape brushes to his hands for painting. Other assistants followed his dictations in executing sculptures. Throwing all the acolytes at problems until they were solved, Renoir flipped the bird at the lemons he was dealt and went on eating his cake. He art-ed heartily until his dying breath.

Romantically, Renoir was something of a hound dog. Lise Trehot, then 17, was Renoir's early muse. She'd model for paintings, then they'd wash each other's brushes. Soon Lise had a baby girl. Renoir denied his part, though Jerry Springer would tell the audience something different. Later, after an extended courtship, he married his second muse and longtime girlfriend. They had a kid together before he popped the question. If the picture isn't clear enough, in his old age Renoir made "let me paint you nude in the bath" a job requirement for his live-in maid.

Not everyone is content with calling Renoir a master. A growing grassroots movement called "Renoir Sucks at Painting" relishes in criticizing Renoir as a hack; a painter of sharpie-eyed ghouls and floppy, impossible flora. The goal is to start a conversation about how Renoir's inclusion in museums (as one of a glut of white male painters) limits recognition of cultural and artistic contributions from underrepresented voices. The group pickets museums with signs that read the likes of 'God Hates Renoir' and 'Aesthetic Terrorism', defaces museum billboards advertising their collection of Renoir with #Treacle (because he's got no substance), and leaves barf bags underneath the more egregious examples of Renoir's artistic atrocities. A fuller view of their political antics is on their Instagram, @renoir_sucks_at_painting. There's even an exchange between Renoir's great-great granddaughter in which she angrily tells them she DGAF because, thanks to grand-grand-granddaddy, she's super rich.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (US: /rɛnˈwɑːr/ or UK: /ˈrɛnwɑːr/; French: [pjɛʁ oɡyst ʁənwaʁ]; 25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."[1]

He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–1969). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Pierre-Auguste Renoir.