Renoir

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By Doris Krystof

One of the leading lights of the Impressionist movement, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) remains a towering figure in art history with enduring public appeal. Sun-kissed, charming, and sensual, his work shows painting at its most lighthearted and luminous, while championing the plein air and color innovations of his time.

Renoir’s oeuvre was prolific, with some several thousand works in his lifetime. Much influenced by forerunners such as Courbet, Degas, Manet, Delacroix, he worked with contemporary peers such as Monet to explore fresh uses of color and brushwork, rendering texture and depth with different-hued daubs. Drawn to intimate and tender human scenes, his subjects include lovers, mothers, and numerous nudes.

As his career progressed, Renoir investigated different styles and techniques, shifting away from the feathery Impressionist touch to a more robust, classical corporeality, sometimes called his “Ingres period,” and later to monumental pieces such as The Bathers. From the abundant output of his lengthy career, this essential artist introduction selects key Renoir works to explore his innovations in the art of painting, as much as his traditions in pursuit of beauty, harmony, and the female form.

Each book in Taschen’s Basic Art series features a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance, a concise biography, and approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.

Hardcover, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches

“I like pictures which make me want to wander through them when it’s a landscape, or pass my hand over breast or back if it’s a woman.” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir

There are several works by Renoir in the Detroit Institute of Arts' Collection including The White Pierrot and Woman in an Armchair.