Art Investment Profile

Pierre-August RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renior (1841-1919) is often presented as one of the leaders in the Impressionist movement. He professed Impressionism during it fashionable period, but he quickly disassociated himself when it began to lose it popularity. In reality, Renoir contributed little to the history of art except great paintings. Paintings, not movements, interested him. At different times in his career he was strongly influenced by other artists.

Early on, he was influenced by Courbet and the Barbizon painters. He later became friends with Monet and Sisley under whose influence caused him to move toward Impressionism. Gradually, his paintings again reflected the realism of Courbet, but with a distinctive Renoir aura.

In the early 1880's he traveled to Italy where he developed a great admiration for the works of Titian and Raphael. The experience made such an impact on him that he began to question the relevance of modernism. Ultimately he embraced the classical aesthetic and his paintings in the last decades of his life showed a strong classical influence. Although Renior resisted labeling his art, these final paintings brought him into the neo-classical realm.

Cézanne was a prolific artist who painted daily for nearly fifty years. There are nearly 1000 documented oil paints and and about 500 more watercolors. There are probably much more. Farmers in Provence would find his watercolors in their fields, which they picked up and sold to Paris dealers.

It is difficult to break down Renoir's art into distinctive periods according to style or chronology for he would never completely forsake any of the influences that were to make up his oeuvre. Nevertheless, we can differentiate four periods of his artistic career.

Early Period (Before 1870)

The work in the early period was initially classical in style. As a young artist, he sought acceptance from the established art community and attempted to enter work in the Salon exhibits in Paris. These paintings found little acceptance which caused him to move to a Courbet influenced realism.

Impressionist  Period (1870-1876)

Coming under the influence of Monet, his work became more Impressionistic and he participated is several Impressionist exhibitions. Even in these years, he would have only reluctantly called himself an Impressionist, and by the end of the decade he withdrew from the Impressionist circle. It is often suggested that he completely rejected Impressionism, but Impressionistic elements never completely disappeared from his painting.

Related ArtistsMature Period (1876-1899)

This is the period of his most magnificent work. His paintings evolved into a bright realism as he captured the life of an ebullient Paris. Early in this period, his paintings continued to retain Impressionistic elements, but gradually moved toward realism. The paintings that are most associated with Renior were painted in this period including Moulin de la Galette (1876) and Dance at Bougival (1883). At the end of this period, the paintings reflected a great neo-classical influence.


A comprehensive article on Renoir with many pictures.
Complete visual description of Cézanne's work, plus biography and other information.
A concise but informative biography of the artist's life.