Artist of the week: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The artist of the week is Pierre-Auguste Renoir, more commonly known as Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). He was among the central figures of the Impressionist movement. Renoir’s early works had snapshots of life in his Impressionist paintings. He was known for the technique of feathery brushstrokes. In the mid-1880’s, his oil painting techniques became more disciplined and formal. His famous paintings include Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, The Seine at Asnieres, and La Loge.
Renoir studied at École Des-Beaux Arts in 1862. He also studied as an apprentice to a porcelain painter. He had his first exhibition in 1874 in Paris, which was unsuccessful. However, with the help of his friends Georges and Marguerite Charpentier, Renoir’s career was on the path to success. With funding from commissions, he was able to travel to Algeria and Italy in the early 1880’s. Renoir worked on a portrait of the composer Richard Garner, during his travels. He continued to paint into his old age, despite his arthritis. Renoir attached the paintbrushes to his wrists. He lived to see an oil painting of his bought by the Louvre in 1919.
The painting Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette) demonstrates the leisure activities Parisians enjoy after working during the day. The sunlight and shade artificially blur into the figures of the painting, which gives the effect of floating and fleeting. The figures are posing naturally within a proposed continuity of space, different directions. This limits the frame and allows the viewer to be a participant, as opposed to just being the viewer .