Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French painter and leading figure in the Impressionist movement. Renoir applied pigment with lively brushstrokes that effectively captured flickering light and atmosphere. “For me, a picture must be a pleasant thing, joyous and pretty yes, pretty. There are too many unpleasant things in life for us to fabricate still more,” he once reflected. Born on February 25, 1841 in Limoges, France, Renoir studied at the École des Beaux-Arts before meeting Claude Monet. He participated in the first and second Impressionist exhibitions in 1874 and 1876, which despite receiving harsh reviews achieved the goal of providing a challenge to the dominance of the Salon. Over the next decade, Renoir distanced himself from the group, painting more structured compositions, inspired by the Renaissance artworks he saw while on a trip to Italy. Towards the end of his life he suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, and was forced to paint many of his last works with a brush tied to his hand. Renoir died on December 3, 1919 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the National Gallery in London, among others.
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