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Renoir Facts

Pierre Renoir became a very famous painter and he sure started at a young age, and his talent was seen even then. Here are some cool facts about this amazing painter that you can use for a school project or just for fun.

Renoir facts

Renoir’s Early Career

Pierre’s first experience with painting happened in 1854 when he took his first job working in a porcelain factory. There he painted designs on fine china.

His talent for painting would have made sure he always had a job as a porcelain painter, but the company went out of business four years later.

While he was doing this job he used to love visiting the Louvre and seeing the works of all the French art masters.

In 1861, Renoir began attending the art studio of Swiss teacher Marc-Gabriel-Charles Gleyer. At the same time Renoir enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux.

At Gleyre’s studio Renoir met other young artists, including Camile Pissarro, Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet. He definitely knew all the cool painters of the time.

Claude Monet

In 1869 Renoir and Claude Monet worked together to create the first landscape paintings in the impressionist style.

This new style was all about capturing the effect of the light on the person they were painting. Because they were painting outside, they painted with bright colors and quick brush strokes.

They used to do this quickly to paint all the essentials before the light changed. Pretty cool!

In 1878, Renoir’s Le Café, a painting of a young woman enjoying a cup of coffee, was accepted at the Salon.

In 1879 he showed four more works at the Salon, including Madame Charpentier and her Children, which was hung in a noticeable place.

He became friends with the Charpentier family, and in times of need they helped him financially.

In return he painted portraits of their family. Madame Charpentier and Her Children became one of his most famous works.

Madame Charpentier and her Children
Madame Charpentier and her Children

Renoir’s Family Life

Renoir married Alice Charigat at the age of 40. Together they had three sons, Pierre, Jean, and Claude. In those days that was quite old to get married!

Earlier in his career, Renoir, like many painters, hired models to pose. However, after his marriage, he often used his wife and children as the models for his paintings.

His paintings that showed how he lived his daily life were taken from his own experiences with his family.

Famous Friends

He made many friends in the art, political and upper-class societies. He met other famous painters like Claude Monet as we mentioned earlier.

In fact, there are several paintings of Renoir and Monet that are similar. They would often paint at the same place but from different angles and discuss how they could improve their paintings.

Now this is amazing! He was saved from being arrested as a spy because a commanding officer owed him a favor. And Renoir was supported with a spacious room and board via the generosity of a friend.

Renoir spy

Travelling Europe

Renoir traveled Europe and met many people and saw many places. He was always on the lookout for other painters like Velazquez, Delacroix, and Raphael.

Renoir also met and painted a portrait of composer Richard Wagner. He sure knew how to make friends in high places!

Loyalty to the Crown

Queen Victoria asked for some of Renoir’s paintings. He donated these to her to show his loyalty to the crown.

crowned queen

Renoir’s Painting Style

This is amazing! Renoir made several thousand paintings during his lifetime.

His work is also often copied and reproduced.

Renoir changed his style a few times.

At first he started painting scenery, then he incorporated formal portraiture, next he was persuaded to try something new in a style that is now called his Ingres period. He then went back to his classical roots.

He used thin brushes so that he could focus on the details of the figures in his paintings.

Renoir painting style changed

Renoir’s Later Life

Later in life, Renoir developed arthritis which affects all your joints and can be very painful. This illness really limited his movement, including the movement of his hands and shoulder.

Because of this he had to change his painting technique. As the paralysis worsened, he would paint by having his brush strapped to his bandaged hands.

Renoir died in France on December 3, 1919. He was 78 years old.

His lively and colorful paintings are among the most well known and most copied works in the history of art.


Famous Paintings

Renoir has many famous works, but perhaps the most famous of his paintings is Renoir’s “1876 Dance at. Le Moulin de la Galette”.

In this painting the scene is set outdoors at, a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmartre. The scene is crowded with people going about doing what they normally did.

Do you know any other interesting facts about Renoir? If you do, please let us know, we would love to hear from you.

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