Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Life and History

Essay by hollister09Junior High, 8th gradeA+, May 2005

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French Impressionist painter, as well as a sculptor. In 1841, Limoges, France was his birthplace. He was the sixth child in his family. When he was around three years old, his family moved to Paris where his father earned a living as a tailor.

At the age of thirteen, he became an apprentice, learning how to paint porcelain. He learned from the Lévy frères, or the Levy brothers. Such talent at a young age could have been foreshadowing his promising career in the future. He worked with the brothers for fours years, until their firm went bankrupt. After that he had many different jobs, but that was when he knew he wanted to be a painter. In 1860, Renoir was allowed to copy paintings in the Louvre. His favorite painting, then and for the rest of his life, was Diana at her Bath, by Boucher. That painting was probable one of his inspirations for painting nude bathers, not just impressions.

When Renoir was around twenty years old, he attended Charles Gleyre's studio, as well as enrolling in L'ecole des Beaux-Arts, or the School of Fine Arts, which he attended for a few years. In 1864 Renoir had his first success. His painting, Esmeralda Dancing with her Goat around a Fire Illuminating the Entire Crowd of Vagabonds, appeared at the Salon, which was an annual exhibition of paintings that were selected by a jury. Afterwards, he destroyed that painting. While painting at Gleyre's studio, Renoir met other young painters like Monet, Sisley, and Bazille, whom he continued to paint with for a long time.

The group of Impressionists was separated during the Franco- Prussian War in 1870. Some of them volunteered, some hid, and Renoir waited and was sent to Bordeaux, far from the fighting. While he...



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