Strictness of the lines he learned to transmit not by expressive means, but fill them with his love and only then be transferred by brush to the canvas.
One of the best works of that time was “Lisa”. It was performed in a traditional manner, according to academic rules (composition, clear lines), but at the same time skillfully imposed effects give liveliness to the model’s face, her dress, posture and surrounding nature.
Renoir believed that writing is necessary only in nature and in no case can not transfer the unfinished work to completion in the studio. Only in this case will the “live” work be seen: the outlines of the figures are slightly blurred, as if disappearing in a fog; the shine of light makes the composition dynamic, nature is represented by Renoir looking for her style, trying herself in almost all genres. He creates decorative paintings, writes still lifes, landscapes, portraits, naked women.
Renoir created many portraits. One of the best female images is the portrait of the famous actress “Comedie Française” Jeanne Samary, written in bright, vibrant colors. The skin of the young beauty was shaded by the artist with a greenish scale. When the audience saw the work, they were horrified: the green skin is unthinkable! They could not see anything else.
No less important, although rare in the work of Renoir, psychological portraits (Victor Choquet, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet).
The beginning of the 1880s was marked for the artist by the crisis and the subsequent abandonment of impressionism.
A critical look at his painting was made by Raphael’s frescoes and painting by Pompeyev. By the mid-1880s, the artist’s work was followed by an “academic period” (also called Engrod).
In the beginning of the 1890s, the “mother of pearl” begins in the artist’s work. One of the characteristic works of this time – “Girls for piano” (1892).
In the 1900s, reddish-pink shades began to predominate in the master’s works, so this stage of his work was called the “red period”. By this time, Renoir had already become a recognized painter and created the greatest number of diverse genre paintings. He was in a hurry to create: with every day arthritis more and more fettered his movements. When due to illness he could no longer hold the brush, then with the help of an apprentice turned to sculpture.
However, his passion until his last breath was painting, in which he tirelessly sang the joy of life, happiness and love.
Moving to Paris, parents often took Auguste to the Louvre. There he discovered new artists, directions and schools.
One day, one of the workers of Levi, Emil Laporte, who was fond of painting with oil, looking at the young Renoir painting porcelain, suggested that he try his hand at painting and canvas.
A huge influence on his artistic perception was made by Paris. The future painter felt himself an integral part of it, admired the beauty of narrow, almost medieval streets in the old districts of the city, its heterogeneous Gothic architecture.
Renoir painted porcelain for four years. In 1858, after the invention of a machine that applied a pattern to porcelain and earthenware, many painter-decorators lost their jobs and were forced to look for similar activities.
Once in the market Renoir involuntarily witnessed a dispute between the owner of the cafe and the contractor about the cost of painting the institution. Without thinking twice, he offered his master services, with the proviso that the work could be paid after the order was completed. However, Renoir brilliantly coped with this work. People specially came to admire his Venus, and at the same time drank several mugs of beer. Later he designed about 20 Parisian cafes, but not a single painting, alas, was not preserved. After collecting a little money, Auguste went to study in a real school of painting.
“Irreceptible” – so called their small community Renoir, Basil, Sisley, Monet and Pissarro. All of them did not want to study the masters of the past and imitate them. With their mentor they proclaimed nature itself. Despite the fact that the masters of the old school (Koro, Manet, Courbet and other representatives of the Fontainebleau school) have already turned their eyes towards the planet, they nevertheless continued to write in a classical manner (clear lines, understandable plots, purity of colors). The “irreconcilable” wanted to reproduce on the canvas their perception of what they saw, without the “literary explanation of the plot.”
This is how he first expressed his vision of art: non-religious, less respectful, but more sensual, deeply personal and alive. Here, in the workshop, Renoir became acquainted with Henri Fantin-Latour, who constantly visited the Louvre, considering him the best school of painting.
In 1862, Renoir met Glaire with future friends and like-minded artists in painting: Frederick Basile, Alfred Sisley, and then Claude Monet. So a new group began to emerge. She was later joined by other students, as well as Camille Pissarro, whom Basil brought (they met in the studio of Manet, where Basil was lucky to visit).
After each lesson at Glare’s friends went to the Cafe “Closerie de Lille”, where they heatedly argued about art, discussed their ideas and rejected the classical canons, condemned their stereotypes and even threatened to burn the Louvre.
Unlike Monet and Pissarro, who completely renounced the classical canons, Renoir was not so categorical in his decisions. He seemed to be between two fires: on the one hand, he was impulsively attracted by a new “natural” painting, on the other – he could not renounce the art of Francois Boucher, Jean Fragonard and Jean Engr.
And yet the freedom of creativity, the desire to enjoy all the possible feelings that nature has rewarded a person, as well as the prospect of renewing French painting, have persuaded Renoir to remain with the “irreconcilable.”
The “irreconcilables” were full of ideas, they loved life, sought to know it as best as possible, tried to master all the sensations that are accessible to man through the senses. They were destined to become the founders of the new French art. But the most interesting is that all the meetings of the “irreconcilables”, in which new ideas were showered with hail, new visions of painting were opened and the cult of nature was proclaimed, did not prevent Renoir, Sisley, Monet and Basil from attending the lessons of old Gleir and continuing to study the classic drawing.
However, soon Renoir had to go back to decorative painting: the money earned earlier for study, almost ended. The family was not thrilled that Auguste was engaged in painting, but Edmond did not leave his older brother. At the age of 18, he already worked with newspapers and wrote the first articles about the new art and the group of “irreconcilables”.
In 1863, Paris was agitated: the Salon refused most of the works presented. Indignant artists suggested that Louis Martine (one of the organizers of all previous shows) collect and display the rejected paintings. Of course, Martin would never have decided on such a step, but the intervention of Napoleon III still prompted him to hold an exhibition. It was called “Salon of the outcast” and was accompanied by a scandal connected with the name of Eduard Manet. The official Salon did not accept his work, and for the “Salon of the outcast” the artist provided his picture “Breakfast on the Grass” (1863). The public criticized and laughed at this work, which later, however, brought Mane a scandalous, but still glory.
From this moment it became obvious that people come to the art world, who are destined to change it. On the work of Manet drew attention a group of artists from the workshop of Glare (Renoir, Basil, Sisley, Monet, Pissarro). Over time, Paul Cezanne, who studied at Suisse’s academy, also joined her.
As a result of the reform of the Salon, held at the initiative of Napoleon III, it was decided that three quarters of the jury could be chosen by the artists themselves. However, this changed little: its members still included adherents of the academic direction in painting. However, the painting of Renoir “Esmeralda, dancing among the vagrants” in 1864, still accepted. The plot was romantic, but the dark colors were quite in line with the spirit of academicism. After the exhibition, the master destroyed the canvas. This symbolized his rejection of the classical canons and “dark” art.
In 1864, Gleir closed his workshop.
In the life of Renoir a new stage has begun, which can be called plein air. Auguste worked extensively in the open air, listening to Monet, who insisted that it was necessary to paint landscapes only in nature and in no case to transfer unfinished work to the workshop, as did their contemporaries, in particular barbizons. Monet argued that in the room it is impossible to recreate the effect and vividness of colors, as in the open-air.
By this time, Renoir’s savings, which he earned by painting the cafe, have practically dried up. However, the hardships and difficulties did not affect the nature of the artist. He did not consider himself a victim of art, realizing that he chose his own way. Renoir never complained to anyone of his plight. To earn some money, portraits allowed, although sometimes they had to be written even for a pair of shoes!
In 1865, young artists occupied only one thing – participation in the Salon. Renoir prepared a portrait of William Sisley (Alfred’s father) and “Summer Evening.” However, before May 1, when the opening was due, there was still time, so Auguste and his friends went to Fontainebleau, where they left for different villages. It was there that Renoir learned that the Salon had accepted his paintings, as well as “The mouth of the Seine in Honfleur” and “The Spit in La Eve at Low tide” by Monet.
Returning to Paris, Auguste, who was still experiencing financial difficulties, settled at Sisley. At this time he became friends with the artist Jules Le Cœur and thanks to this friendship he managed to penetrate into the society of rich people who loved art, and also to find permanent patrons. In addition, in the house of Le Cura, Renoir met his first lover, 16-year-old Lisa Treo, who became one of his favorite models.
The year 1866 was marked by a scandal connected with the next Salon. The jury rejected one picture after another, including the work of Manet and Renoir. But Monet and Gustave Courbet, on the contrary, shone.
Courbet, whom Auguste met earlier and who struck him with his talent and vociferousness, seems to have become the head of a new trend in painting.
While the newspapers were developing a large-scale exposure of the jury in unprofessionalism, Renoir felt that he was more impressed with Courbet with his broad and slightly simple manner of transferring nature. And he decided to try out Gustave’s technique – rubbing the paint on the canvas with a knife – while working on still life. Particularly clearly the influence of Courbet is noticeable in the painting “Diana-Huntress” (1867), where Renoir portrayed Lisa naked, having worked her body palette knife.
Meanwhile, the financial situation of the painter did not improve: like Monet, he was forced to constantly look for part-time work. In addition, Sisley was married, so Renoir had to move to Basil.
In 1867, friends are again preparing for Salon, which, alas, again brings only disappointment. Renoir introduced “Diana-Hunter”, and she was rejected. Pondering the reasons for his failure, he realized that the work of a palette knife was not his calling.
This alienated Renoir from Courbet and his “heavyweight” painting. At that moment he became interested in the manner of Manet, who did not pay enough attention to modeling, but carefully worked on color.
Over time, Auguste became a member of a group of “recalcitrant”, or Batignol, who often gathered in the café “Gerbois” in the Batignolle quarter, where they discussed painting for a long time. The head of the group was Edward Manet. And if the jury of the Salon, which rejected his work year after year, was a bit more restrained, it is unlikely that artists would begin around Manet, so different in their worldview and views on painting.
In the summer of 1867, Renoir wrote “Lisa”, where the influence of both Courbet and Manet is felt, but the individual style of the master is also traced. The picture was taken to the Salon of 1868 thanks to Dobigny, who was a member of the jury and managed to procure seats for many artists whose presence at the exhibition was previously unthinkable.
One of the most striking works of this period (after “Liza”) is a portrait of Alfred Sisley with his wife, written in an open air.
And yet Renoir remained in need. It was not easy to find customers, so he went with Lisa to his parents in Ville-d’Avre.
1869 was quite difficult for Renoir: constant need, refusal of the Salon. He spends most of his time in Bougival, in Ville-d’Avre. Nearby, in Saint-Michel, at the time lived Claude Monet, who often did not have money even for bread, not to mention the paints and canvases. Renoir helped his friend as best he could, brought bread from home.
Joint difficulties very close friends, and this could not but affect their work. When money appeared, they bought paints, put their easels alongside and drew the same motives, talked on common themes, forming common views on painting.
They did not return to the forests of Fontainebleau anymore, they became interested in water, its magical overflows, reflections, coloring at different times of the day. Now they were occupied only by the Seine from Bougival to Argenteuil with its baths and numerous holidaymakers on weekends.
Separately it is worth mentioning an amazing place – “Frog”. It was a small cozy cafe, located on a pontoon and connected to the shore of the Seine by a small bridge. Its name was the island of happiness and carelessness that came about because of pretty ladies of easy virtue, who were called frogs. They came here with lovers or alone in search of new gentlemen, whose attention was attracted by bright and bright outfits.
In the “paddling pool” various competitions were held, here you could relax on fragrant grass on the shore and enjoy the views of a quiet bay. In the evening, the pontoon turned into a fun center: red lights lit up, shedding a juicy light on the waters of the Seine, and the musicians began to play quirky quadrilles and canter.
It was here that Monet and Renoir developed the principles of the new art – Impressionism. If you look closely at the works of this time, it is not immediately clear who the author of this or that picture is: Monet or Renoir. The main principles of the new direction were embodied in their canvases: examination of glare on the water, chiaroscuro, flicker of light, clear separation of strokes, use of light shades of colors (only three main and three additional colors), transfer of the primary impression from what they saw.
For the Salon of 1870, Renoir wrote “Bather with Gryphon” and “Odalisque”. The jury accepted both pictures. During this period, the artist began to experience the influence of the greatest colorist – Eugene Delacroix.
Since his studies with Glare, Renoir has tried his hand in many different directions for many years. From each he endured something necessary for the development and improvement of his skills. Plener helped him master the work with light and color, though not completely. Delacroix was “called” to help improve these light skills.
In the same year, France entered the war with Prussia. In autumn Renoir was called and seconded to Libourne, where he had to spend the whole winter. The war separated the artist from friends: Pissarro and Monet went to England, Basil died in the battles.
In 1817, Renoir fell ill with dysentery. From the death of his uncle, who rescued him from Libourne to Bordeaux. At that time, Auguste only dreamed of one thing: to return to his beloved Paris as soon as possible. It was possible to carry out the plans already in March, after demobilization.
Alas, at this time in the capital began unrest, which resulted in a popular uprising, which went down in history under the name of the Paris Commune. Renoir tried to adapt to the new life, was looking for orders, but he worked very little. Apparently, this is why, after the long and terrible months of the war, his creativity manifested itself with renewed vigor.
Unlike Delacroix, Renoir decided to portray women against the backdrop of a luxurious interior, rather than paying tribute to the East. Despite the fact that the public considered the “Parisians” a copy of the works of the great colorist, in this picture the sensuality of Renoir appeared for the first time, which before that he expressed somewhat ineptly.
In 1872, many Batignolians met Paul Durand-Ruelle, a wealthy merchant of paintings. However, Renoir was not very upset, he even painted a portrait of his former lover and gave her a farewell.
In the summer of 1872 the artist went to Monet in Argenteuil. Here, friends with new strength took to work, boldly following the basic principles of impressionism: they reproduced the shape of objects not as everyone perceives it, but transmitted their vision, covering the canvas with small mottled strokes.
To distinguish their work on technology is almost impossible, the difference is only in the plots. Monet was mostly fond of the landscape, Renoir liked to portray people, especially women. In 1873 he painted the painting “Rose”, in which, with incredible love and trembling, he conveyed the outlines of the body, hands and oval of the model’s face, the glitter of her eyes. He was just in love with his painting!
In 1873 for the next Salon Renoir wrote “Riders in the Bois de Boulogne”. Seeing the picture, Captain Darr, whose wife posed for the rider, was horrified, noticing on the skin of animals blue smears:
“Blue horses? There are no blue horses in the world! ”
Unfortunately, he was right: the jury of the Salon did not accept the picture. But Renoir was not upset, he was seized by the universal joy of the Batignolles: Durand-Ruel successfully sold their works! Do not turn away from Fortune and from Renoir: several of his paintings were bought at a fabulous price – about 1500 francs! And a little later Durand-Ruel became interested in him.
“Finally! Thought the artist. “A period of obscurity has passed and a period of success is coming!”.
The Impressionists (1874-1882)
So, Renoir’s life gradually began to improve: at last he was able to rent a good workshop.
In the summer of 1874 the artist wrote his famous “Dancer” in gray tones, with incredible skill transferring all the shades and colors of this color. Renoir discovered the great mystery of painting: the more you want to say, the less you need to say. And he used it remarkably neatly.
No less skillfully written and one of the best works – “Lodge”. In this picture everything is simple: composition, plot, manner of writing. The master used only a few shades of the same color, but so skillfully that it allowed him to be ranked among such brilliant colorists as Titian and Rubens.
The idea belonged to Claude Monet, who remembered Basil’s long-standing dream of organizing a community that would protect independent creators and arrange their exhibitions. They were tired of the constant refusals of the Salon, disregard of the academicians of painting, they decided to create their own world!
Edward Manet did not like the idea, which, by the way, was exhibited in the Salon (according to friends, he surrendered, skating to the traditional manner of writing). There were other dissatisfied, warning artists from such a rash step. However, due to the financial situation of Durand-Ruelle, the Batignolans needed somehow to sell their work.
Once, describing the work of Monet, he turned to the artist with a request to diversify their names – they were too similar. Monet looked at the first picture, and without hesitation, said: “Impression. Sunrise”.
On the opening day of the hall of Nadar’s workshop, a noisy and indignant audience filled in. Ignoring the work of academic painters, people were confused with pictures of Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Sisley and Degas. Was it a joke: instead of clear images and accurate reproduction of reality they were offered some kind of “daub”! Is it possible to call it art? Probably, the authors of the pictures simply “shot” on canvas with paints from tubes, and after they put their signatures on them!
However, despite the disapproving and at times disdainful rumble, it was clear that these brave artists had publicly declared the existence of a new art.
After the exhibition was visited by the critic Louis Leroy, a very unflattering article appeared in the newspaper Sharivari entitled “Exhibition of Impressionists” (the idea of the title was borrowed from the painting Monet “Impression, Sunrise”). Following her on the Impressionists – just like the former Batignolles began to call derisively – a hail of ridicule and jokes fell. Now their situation has become catastrophic, and in fact they were warned! ..
True, Renoir was a little easier: in addition to landscapes, he painted portraits, and this helped to make ends meet. For the whole summer, Auguste left for Argenteuil, which has now become the center of impressionism. Here, artists – adherents of a new direction in painting, met their patron – the generous Gustave Caillebottom. He helped the former Batignolians with all his might: he bought their paintings, invited them to stay with him.
For Renoir, 1874 ended gloomily: the “Anonymous Cooperative Association” was liquidated, and soon the father died. Again need, again need to think about how to make money …
In search of an exit from the current situation, Renoir proposed the Batignolians to arrange a sale of paintings in the hotel Drouot. In March 1875, an auction took place, where the works of Renoir, Monet and Sisley were sold in the literal sense for pennies.
In the course of the auction, however, Renoir acquired two admirers of his talent in particular and impressionism in general: Victor Choquet, a customs official, and Georges Charpentier, a wealthy publisher.
Soon, Choquet proposed to the artist to write a portrait of his wife. And thanks to Charpentier, who previously bought from him “Fisherman with a fishing rod,” Renoir fell into a brilliant secular society. Later the Charpentier family ordered him portraits of his children. Such changes promised the artist the fate of a fashionable portraitist and solid earnings.
In April 1876, Durand-Ruelle proposed to the Impressionists (by this time their ranks had considerably thinned: from 30 people only 19 remained faithful to the new direction) to hold another exhibition. Like the first, she passed under the roar of disapproval and was showered with ridicule. Especially the picture of Renoir “Naked, the effect of the sun”: the girl depicted on it, the critics called “dead, with the effect of decaying flesh.” Nobody was able to appreciate the skill of the artist, who so skillfully conveyed on her body the trembling of sunlight.
Despite this, Impressionism slowly won the audience: this time all newspapers published a report on the show, and some printed positive reviews. Some of the critics even noted the impact of the new direction on the official Salon.
At the very top of the Montmartre hill was located an institution called Moulin de la Galette. It was a large square barn, around which was built a decking, where the tables were. On Sundays and public holidays at three o’clock the dancing started here. Guests were served wine, and to it a special dish – biscuits.
Renoir was very fond of this place. He liked local patrons – simple, funny and, strangely enough, often family people. His friends-artists also came here.
Once Renoir from memory made in his studio a sketch of this eternal feast of life. One of the friends, after seeing the sketch, said that it is absolutely necessary to write a picture on it.
The girl in the striped dress in the foreground is Estella, the sister of one of the models of Renoir, Jeanne.
At the table in the foreground are three friends of Renoir: Fran Lamy, Norbert Genett and journalist Georges Riviera, who in one of his editions of The Impressionist called The Ball at Moulin de la Galette a “history page, a beautiful monument of Parisian life, recreated from stunning accuracy. ” In 1877, the picture became one of the decorations of the third exhibition of the Impressionists.
Renoir, accustomed to work only in the open air, to get out at that time in the cafe in Montmartre was hampered by the need. The case was helped: he was generously paid for one portrait.
Without thinking, the artist went to look for a suitable workshop. He was lucky enough to find very cozy furnished rooms with an excellent garden (he later painted a picture “Swing” amazing in the color and light play). Then he started looking for models. This, however, was not a problem: after hearing about the “wealthy” artist, many girls came to him.
Another model of Renoir – Margarita Legran (was also known in Montmartre as Little Margo) – a girl dancing to the left. Her partner is the Cuban artist Pedro Cárdenas.
So, Renoir began work on “The Ball in the Moulin de la Galette”. He planned to portray a motley crowd of merry people in the light of day, under lush acacias; to show their cheerful faces, the play of light and shadows on clothes, and both light and shadow should have been warm, sparkling, like the dance itself.
During work, the artist approached many of the models. He was amazed that the young flirtatious girls, dancing in bright colors in the evening, returned to the miserable shacks of Montmartre, where hunger and unsanitary conditions reigned.
To somehow help the children who lived there, Renoir organized a charity ball at Moulin de la Galette. However, the collected money was not enough to open a kind of shelter for the small inhabitants of Montmartre. Then he turned to Madame Charpentier for help. Despite the fact that she liked the idea, she did not give her proper attention. However, some time later, still organized the so-called Crèche.
Simultaneously with the “Ball” Renoir wrote several landscapes and portraits of wealthy Frenchmen.
If you look at the color, which is written by the shoulders and chest of Jeanne, you can notice a lot of strokes of different shades of green. It is difficult to imagine that before Renoir someone dared to write a human body in green tones.
In 1877, under the auspices of Gustave Caybott, the Impressionists decided to organize another exhibition.
And the girl looked lovingly at the master: even after so many years, the viewer feels her love for the artist, which he himself passed.
And again the public accepted the exhibition of the Impressionists not in the best way, albeit with some favor. Against the pictures of Renoir and his friends, a flurry of criticism came again. The portrait of Jeanne Samari, for example, was called unnatural and far from nature: where is it seen, green stains on the skin? A ball in the Moulin de la Galette and the “Swing” and were completely stained with some stains! Have they been exposed to rain or mud? Ah, that’s the thing: the artist wanted to convey thus a shadow falling through the foliage on people! Incredible!
After the exhibition, Renoir, Caybott, Sisley and Pissarro again arranged a sale of their work in the hotel Drouot. Fans of painting, they offered 45 paintings. As before, she did not bring much money, but created a fuss around the artists: they were again mocked, painted caricatures and even put on plays. All this frightened off buyers: where it is seen – plotless painting for the sake of painting?
Artists understood: the rejection of academicism testified that they do not support the existing social order. However, the emergence of Impressionism meant only one thing: the present society has become obsolete, the time for a new art has come.
In 1878, Renoir, oddly enough, again decided to get into the Salon. Probably, the 37-year-old artist was tired of constant need and unclaimed. He realized: to buy paintings, they should be “seal” Salon.
At the jury, Renoir introduced “Coffee” (later, the critics renamed the painting “The Chocolate Cup”). He was betting on the portrait, because he believed that after the appearance of this genre he will have orders.
Impressionists knew their friend well, so they did not take his action as a personal insult and treated him condescendingly. Special Salon Salon in 1878, Renoir did not bring. Prada, Madame Charpentier decided to order his portrait with the children, Paul and Georgette. The painter did not regret efforts: he understood that it was his chance to enlist the support of the wife of a rich publisher.
When the portrait was finished, Madame, with the help of her influential acquaintances, did everything possible to make Renoir the academicians of the Salon. Many people saw the picture long before the exhibition and were very enthusiastic about it. The artist also prepared for the Salon a portrait of Joan of Samari in full growth.
In general, Madame Charpentier began to pay great attention to the issues of art. She persuaded her husband to open a weekly publication La Vie Moderne, devoted to literature, painting and society chronicles, and suggested publishing personal exhibitions of artists within the walls of the publishing house. For cooperation with the magazine Renoir did not get a penny: he just wanted to please Madame, who promised to soon hold his personal exhibition (at that time it was a rarity).
And while Renoir was preparing for Salon, his friends organized the fourth show – “Exhibition of Independent Artists” (the word “impressionism” was specifically excluded from the title). On the opening day, the first issue of La Vie Moderne was published.
“We invite you to attend the removal, burial and burial of the Impressionist gentlemen,” one of the critics wrote in the magazine.
Over time, Cezanne and Sisley split from the Impressionist group: like Renoir, they sent their paintings to the Salon, but they were denied participation.
After the opening of the Salon, the portrait of Madame Charpentier, who was hanged at her request to the most prominent and winning place, was praised by both spectators and critics. Still would! The artist, who was entrusted to write his portraits of the wife of the famous publisher and actress “Comedy Francaise”, can not be untalented.
About Renoir and his painting literally began to speak. At the same time, the artist did not abandon his manner of writing, but was able to change the opinion of the public about it, which was ready to believe that impressionism was undergoing changes (although in fact it was not so).
Thanks to his fame, Renoir met the family of diplomat Berard, who invited him to spend the summer in his own estate on the coast of the English Channel.
Here, in Varžemona, the painter liked everything: the hubbub of three children of Berar, beaches, beautiful landscapes and … freedom of creativity. What else can an artist dream of? At last he achieved what he wanted! Here, Renoir painted a painting for the Salon “Mussels pickers in Berne Valle”.
1880 year. From the Impressionist group, following the example of Renoir, Monet separated. According to Emile Zola, Impressionism was ready to split, like a ripe fruit. In this there was nothing surprising: every talented artist must sooner or later become an individual and seek his original manner of writing.
Someone moved on, but many, especially the newcomers, in the words of Monet, simply slid down to the ordinary “mazna.” They learned the basic principles of impressionism, which they did not aspire to develop further, because of this their painting became uninteresting, artificial.
Renoir continued to create for his own pleasure, he worked hard and received good money for his paintings. He liked such a life – a calm, measured existence of a bachelor. And it is natural that when his thoughts began to occupy not a painting, but a woman, he was a little scared.
Alina Sharigo, who worked in a sewing workshop for several months, posed for him. She lived near the artist and often went to the dairy, where he liked to dine. There they met. Renoir invited the charming girl to her as a model.
Despite the considerable age difference (almost 20 years), they found common interests and topics for conversation. Renoir was fascinated.
“She wants to pat on her back like a kitten,” he said.
Alina loved to pose. She did not understand painting at all, but she sensed with some inner instinct that the name of this artist would go down in history forever. She was fascinated by the way he used to brush, shade and paint.
Renoir could not decide to let a woman into her life. It would mean that you have to change the painting, divide the time between it and love. Thanks to the feeling, he began to rethink his work, with which he became more and more unhappy. What did he seek for 20 years? What is impressionism in general? Such questions were the reason that Renoir began to doubt whether he knows how to write.
1881 year. Renoir does not want to work at all. To change the situation, he decides to follow the example of the eternal wanderer Cezanne and go on a trip. Asking his friend Charles Efrussy to send portraits of the Kaen girls to the Salon, the artist went to Algeria (he had long dreamed of visiting the country, sung by his beloved Delacroix).
After returning from Algeria, Baron Barbier, the Mayor of Saigon, a former cavalry officer, suggested that Renoir implement one of his little plans. In its implementation, 14 people participated.
So the picture “Breakfast rowers.” Her composition consists of many figures, but, despite the festive atmosphere, this work can not be called pompous. It seems that the artist wanted to capture what he had previously loved so much: Sen, restaurant, cheerful and noisy company of young people.
Having finished this work, Renoir practically said goodbye to impressionism, returning to him in the future only in the most exceptional cases.
After the “Rowers Breakfast” was over, Alina suggested Renoir leave the capital and go to the village, but he refused (albeit with difficulty). They spent the summer separately: the painter went to Varjemon.
Behind Alina, leaning on the fence, stands Alphonse Furnes, the son of the restaurant owner. A little further is his sister Alfonsina. She listens to the story of the interlocutor, in the glare of the morning sun her straw hat looks as if gilded, contrasting with dark curly hair and a blue ribbon on the thong.
Behind Maggiolo, in the background, three people are talking. Among them, the lady is Jeanne Samary, a famous actress, a model of several paintings by Renoir.
In the foreground is a girl in a dark dress and a straw hat with flowers playing with a dog. In this picture, the artist captured her for the first time, immediately making the main character of the canvas.
Opposite Alina Sharigo sits a famous artist Gustave Caillebotte. In the background, a girl in a blue dress with a white collar and a white hat. This is Angel Lego, a friend of Renoir, a former flower saleswoman, later known as an actress and singer.
“Breakfast rowers” – one of the central paintings in the work of Auguste Renoir. Here, under a canopy, in the family restaurant Fournaise, the artist painted almost all his friends. The background of the picture – morning, transparent, fresh – allows you to view through the greens of the Seine and the boats on it. The canopy, however, does not interfere with the sunlight to play on the figures of people.
Figures in the foreground are written in great detail. A woman drinking from a glass – a model that posed not only Renoir, but Edward Manet and Edgar Degas, – Ellen Andre. Behind her, two men: facing the viewer is Jules Laforgue, a poet-symbolist of Hispanic origin; the man in the cylinder – Charles Ephrussy, critic, art critic, collector, patron, influential man of the time.
In this painting, prescribing very many details with surprising accuracy, Renoir approaches realism. Particularly noteworthy is the still life in the center. He deserved to become a separate, independent work. The artist succeeded in the texture of the fabric on the table, and the ringing transparency of the glass of glasses and bottles, and the juiciness of the grapes on a plate. The master achieved this by playing in contrast, careful work with highlights.
Torture in love, suffering in art … In the autumn Renoir received an invitation to Madame Charpentier to write a portrait of her younger daughter. However, remembering the young years of training at Glare and Engr, whom he somehow happened to see at work.
“I suddenly wanted to see Raphael,” the painter wrote in a letter of apology addressed to Madame Charpentier.
Renoir visited many cities in Italy, but only Venice inspired him to create several works.
The picture of “Umbrellas” Renoir devoted almost six years. It depicts a lively scene on the streets of Paris during the rain. The composition itself resembles a random photograph. The artist managed to convey the fuss at a time when people are in a hurry to open umbrellas and hide from the elements. It was in this, according to Renoir, was the main task of Impressionism – to convey the feelings that the artist feels at a certain moment, to give the viewer an opportunity to experience them.
Before Venice, he visited Florence, where he was one of the most famous Madonna of Raphael – “Madonna in a chair” (painting in the palace of Pitti). Renoir did not expect that she would surprise him so: how right and simple her figure was written out! Without thinking for a long time, after Venice, the painter went straight to Rome to study the work of the great Italian.
“It’s beautiful, and I should have seen it before,” Renoir said, not without sadness. – It is full of knowledge and wisdom. Rafael did not aspire to, as I did, to the impossible.
On the middle picture of the picture is a girl who looks up. Obviously, she checks to see if the rain has ended. Renoir perfectly managed to convey the expression of her face, even if mostly for the hidden hat of a woman in the foreground.
But it’s fine. In oil painting I prefer Engr. But the frescoes are magnificent with their simplicity and grandeur. ”
Next, he was waiting for the adorable painting of Pompeii in Naples. The artist was delighted with her: it is simply amazing how the masters of the past, using only the basic colors, achieved such precise and perfect lines in their works! Where before they are modern “geniuses” who have so forgotten the picturesque traditions of the past that they can not even draw a hand. Renoir began to look for himself again: he wrote and wiped paint, and again wrote, and again wiped.
After a while he settled in Capri, where he wrote one of the best works – “Blonde Bather”. It feels like a painful moment for the artist, but at the same time there is a triumph of lines and volume, which he learned from Raphael and Engr.
Renoir really missed Paris, but in the near future he did not get to the capital. First he went to Sicily, where he painted a portrait of the great composer Wagner; after he stayed in Estaca at Cezanne, where he became seriously ill with pneumonia. After recovering a little, he again went to Algeria (to heal and write several portraits, since last time he brought back landscapes exclusively).
In Paris, the artist returned seven months after his departure. What did he understand during the trip? Firstly, that he still has something to learn, that he did not comprehend the mastery of painting to the full. Secondly, that can not live without Alina.
“Academic period” (1882-1892)
“When you look at the works of the great artists of the past, you realize that there is nothing to philosophize. What excellent masters of their business were in the first place these people! How they knew their craft! This is everything. Painting is not some kind of dreaming … Right, artists consider themselves to be exceptional beings, they imagine that if they put blue paint instead of black paint, they will turn the world over, “was Renoir’s view of art.
He returned to Paris, to Alina. Their love blossomed, gave the artist creative powers. Alina could not be better suited to him: when necessary, protected from unnecessary anxiety, was restrained and majestic, like a queen.
In Varžemona, Renoir began writing a series of paintings that depict dancing couples. These three planned works were completed by the end of 1883. All of them are distinguished by a drier texture and a clearer modeling, bordering on the stylization of images.
Renoir began to pay more attention to the drawing of the naked body, tried to convey the exact structure of each muscle, sometimes reaching the savings of expressive means and modesty of the image (in other words, to academicism). He exchanged bright colors for simple colors, content only with yellow or red, green or black. Now the painter believed that Impressionism was too “flowery”, too complicated, because of what he lacked the means of expression.
The frescoes seen in Italy did not give him rest. He wanted to know how to achieve at the same time the dullness and radiance that so delighted him.
The year 1883 turned out to be unremarkable for the artist: the jury of the Salon rejected all his paintings, and the personal exhibition arranged by Durand-Ruelle did not bring the expected results. However, thanks to orders for portraits, this state of affairs of Renoir did not bother at all.
Once, in a secondhand bookshop, he unexpectedly came across the “Treatise on Painting” by Cennino Chennini, translated by the pupil of Ingres in 1858, which described the most important techniques and techniques of the fifteenth-century masters. After reading the book, Renoir once again convinced that all the achievements of the past, unfortunately, are forgotten and people who own them, simply did not remain. He literally hated impressionism, began to paint in accordance with the proportions that counted for a more accurate transfer of the form. Sometimes he painted sketches on the canvas and only then wrote with oil.
Renoir for a long time nurtured the idea of this picture. He spent long walks in the Versailles garden, wandered among the sculptures, considering their ideal forms, and once drew attention to “Bathing the Nymphs” – the lead bas-relief of Girardon. Yes, it was exactly what you need for the composition of the conceived picture!
Carefully copying the bas-relief, Renoir began to work on the canvas poses naked girls. It was a real struggle, which exhausted the artist, took away all his strength. He began to write bathers in 1884, and finished only in 1886. During this time, countless sketches and sketches were made, several times the positions of the undines were changed, and their number (in the end, there were five – for the conciseness of the composition it was to be confined to strict boundaries).
As everything is strictly accurate in this work: the composition, the choice of colors, and the structure! In “Big Bathers” Renoir showed a mental painting, the work of an artist thinking and calculating every stroke of a brush. Later he presented the painting at the International Exhibition in the gallery of Georges Petit in 1887. There she provoked conflicting feelings both among spectators and Renoir’s colleagues, but still enjoyed success.
No less difficult for the artist was the work on the picture “The Evening of Children in Warjemon”, written in classical style in a dry manner. Here, Renoir did not fully demonstrate his talent as a colorist (he would not have regretted bright colors before), carefully selecting colors that look very harmonious. The style of the artist is unrecognizable and thanks to a linear composition, not characteristic of his previous works. “Evening” is a vivid testimony to the artist’s spiritual and creative disagreement, which nevertheless pushed him to further creative searches.
For this picture, Renoir was posed by his future wife Alina Sharigi (left), as well as Suzanne Valadon (right), who later became a famous artist.
In 1885, Renoir learned that Alina was expecting a child. His feelings are in turmoil: unfortunately, at this time the artist is again experiencing financial difficulties, and here such an important event. Even the work of the doctor who took delivery, Renoir paid for his picture, the benefit of the doctor turned out to be a kind person and did not refuse to take the canvas.
Soon after the birth of his son, the family moved to Alina’s homeland, in Essaoux, where the picturesque valleys of the vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy stretched. Here the artist regains peace, nature helps him to understand that there is nothing more to look for. The works of this period do not give rise to doubt about this. First there is “Hairstyle”, where Renoir finally reaches that level in writing the figure, which he aspired: the naked body of the girl after bathing is depicted with excellent accuracy.
But most of all attention in this period he paid to Aline, who after the birth of Pierre’s son attracted him even more. He constantly sketched a nursing wife, and some time later wrote “Motherhood” on them, where he painted Alina with a baby in the garden near the house.
In this work, there is a connection with the classical plot – Madonna and Child. Later, the artist created several similar paintings.
After the World Exhibition in 1887, Renoir looked askance at his friends and colleagues. Journalists wrote that, “it seems that Renoir in his painting took a step back”, his work was called simplistic, was reproached in academism. The artist began to wonder: did he act correctly when he turned off the path of impressionism? Earlier, he had already destroyed several paintings written in the manner of “Big Bathers” – they seemed frankly unsuccessful to him. What now? How to go back?
In 1887, Bertha Morisot, the wife of Edward Manet’s brother, commissioned Renoir a portrait of her daughter
Julie. In this work, the artist made the texture softer, finally letting go of his artistic flair, which made the picture literally shine. The crisis receded, and, although the lines were still clear and rigid, it was already not a dry painting.
Renoir continued to paint portraits, thus earning a living. He traveled a lot, looking for inspiration. All those who followed his creative growth were surprised at his constant search for himself, his bold experiments.
At the end of 1888, while visiting his wife Mane in Simieze, Renoir felt unwell.
For Renoir, 1889 began very unsuccessfully: a sudden illness broke him not so much physically as morally. However, he tried not to despair and continued to work. In the works of this time, the features characterizing the future painting became clear: the “period of severity” ended and brought an excellent knowledge of the form that the artist would never have achieved if he remained faithful to impressionism.
Renoir managed to combine the most important achievements in his painting – he clothed the form with sensual impressions, using light and color, he achieved excellent structures (especially in the depiction of female figures). All the works written after the “Big Bathers”, acquire a magnificent and juicy form.
Creativity master slowly matured. His talent was revealed gradually thanks to the pressure, the desire to overcome any difficulties, the desire to learn and improve. For many years, the artist was experimenting, searching … And then came the most important stage of life – by the time he was fifty, he finally found his true destiny in painting.
Getting rid of doubts, he gave himself completely to creativity. He painted many pictures, created countless sketches, took part in exhibitions with pleasure (in 1890 – in the Group of Twenty and Durand-Ruelle exhibition). On the court of the Salon, which was not exhibited for about seven years, the artist presented a portrait of the daughters of Katyul Mendes. This picture was placed under a canopy, and it was difficult to consider. After that, the painter forever refused to cooperate with Salon.
In April 1890, Renoir and Alina were officially married. Throughout this year, the artist actively visited his favorite places, came to Bertha Morisot, communicated with the poet Stefan Mallarme, collaborated with Durand-Ruelle.
In the summer of 1891 he went with Alina to the south, where he wanted to paint densely and send more paintings to Durand-Ruel (apparently he planned a solo exhibition that would consolidate the glory of a talented artist). The works of this period are very colorful and sound combinations of colors. Undoubtedly, Renoir became a great colorist. Significance of his work for painting became aware and contemporaries: someone wanted to organize an exhibition of paintings, someone sought to get acquainted with the great painter closer.
In 1892, in the gallery of Durand-Ruelle, a personal exhibition of Renoir took place, for which he produced about 110 paintings of various periods. Reviews about the show were brilliant, completely different from the previous ones. But at one time many of the master’s works were booed by the public! .. Now, one of the paintings was wanted by Henri Rouzhon, the director of Fine Arts Department. This state order instantly transferred Renoir to the category of official artists.
“Mother-of-pearl period” (1892-1902)
In 1892, Renoir went to Spain. There he did not spend much time – only a month. However, this was enough to enjoy the works of Velazquez and Goya.
In these years in the work of Renoir, there have been changes: swabs have become sweeping and plastic, and to replace the strict color accuracy came pearl luster and overflow. Apparently, it was the trip to Spain that laid the foundation for the “mother of pearl” period.
As if anticipating that soon the illness would forever make him immobile, Renoir traveled a lot. He was in London, where he admired the paintings of William Turner, Richard Bonington and Claude Lorrain. In The Hague, the master struck the work of Jan Vermeer. Learning that his “Washerwomen” are kept in Dresden (1656), he immediately went there.
In 1897, while riding a bicycle, the painter broke his arm. At first he did not attach much importance to this. But soon after the removal of gypsum, she began to get sick, so I had to call a doctor.
Renoir felt that the day was approaching, which he feared most when he could no longer write. However, the artist did not give in to despondency and left with a head to work. He persuaded Alin that he just wanted to get more money, but in fact he could not part with the painting. Refusal of her meant death for Renoir. Since then, every morning, the artist has developed joints with the help of small balls.
In general, Renoir began spending more time with his family and drawing inspiration, looking at his children. He admired their facial expressions, clear eyes … Most often Jean posed for him, whom the painter forbade to cut thick red hair. In addition, the artist and the female figure occupied. He liked to depict the naked bodies of models, admired them, with special love wrote out rounded hips.
In early 1899, Renoir experienced another attack of rheumatism.
In early July, at one of the auctions, his painting was sold for a huge sum of 20,000 francs. True, the artist was not happy about it: he began to perceive such sales with irritation; argued that people began to appreciate not art, but money.
He could grumble about it for a long time, but at the end of the conversation he always made excuses: they say, on the other hand, money for pictures is a payment for the pleasure that the artist receives while working.
Renoir tried to spend as much time as possible in the south, which he considered the birthplace of his art: it was here that he found sparkling colors, warm colors, real life and joy, transparency and clarity of the sky. Having decided henceforth to spend every winter on the Mediterranean Sea, in 1900 near Grasse, he rented a villa, where he wrote with pleasure his favorite motifs: children and women.
August 18, 1900 Renoir was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor. His illness progressed: walking and writing became more and more difficult. The artist was overcome with fear that soon he will forever have to forget about his work. In November, he learned that the third time he would become a father. This news is not very happy: in his years, when he hardly rearranges his legs! ..
Renoir continued to write models, he was positively posed by the cook Gabriel. Glaring at her naked body, he thought about how to transfer these delicate features of the elastic body to the canvas, what means to give life to these girlish forms.
In 1901, Renoir had a son Claude, to whom he really woke up with his grandfather affection. He relentlessly admired his tiny body and puffy hands, with pleasure he wrote gentle pictures filled with love for the little Koko, as everyone called him. In addition, there was now someone to lure Jean, who, against the will of Renoir, was cut off by beautiful curls and sent to study.
In 1902, the painter’s condition worsened: his legs were refused, he paralyzed the nerve of his left eye, which made the look wandering. The more weakly the artist’s body became, the more magnificent and beautiful his masters were on the canvases, and the more lively and sweeter their forms looked.
The Red Period (1903-1919)
In recent years, Renoir, although he continued to write in the same manner, preferred shades of red and pink, so this period is often called “red.” After a trip to the Netherlands and acquaintance with the work of Vermeer, his paintings began to reflect the enthusiasm of their creator by the Renaissance artists, becoming more saturated and heavier in color perception. He continues to write his favorite subjects: children, naked women, sunny landscapes.
In 1903, a new Art Salon was created in Paris. In 1904, the organizers of the Autumn Salon wished to see the works of Renoir and asked Durand-Ruelle accordingly. He, in turn, asked permission from the artist. However, at the time of receiving the letter from the collector because of poor health, the master was in a bad mood, so he answered very ambiguously … And after a while he began to work with even greater ardor – he still decided to participate in the exhibition, where he was given a whole Hall!
Despite the fact that arthritis increasingly disfigured the hands of the master, he did not give up and continued to create. Of course, the style of writing iz-for this has changed, but not for the worse. Smears have become larger, and the impression of the paintings, in which the compositions were more complete, uniform, is deeper. Completely different forms neatly merged, but did not mix.
“Let them kiss,” – so spoke of this Renoir.
In those years, the artist’s family constantly roamed in search of a suitable climate for the patient. Soon they found such a place – it was the village of Kan, where in 1907 the Renoir purchased the villa “Colette”.
Here the artist began to nurture the idea of creating monumental canvases in the style of decorative Italian wall painting.
Here Renoir creates “Bathers”, which was destined to become his picturesque will to future generations of artists.
In 1910, Renoir created a series of portraits, including the last self-portrait. In his opinion, a self-portrait is the lot of artists who conceal a tragedy in the depths of their hearts. They want to get a better look at themselves, to understand their feelings. Renoir never felt morally devastated: no matter how difficult it was, he always had love, happiness and hope inside him. He bore only kindness, relentless admiration of nature and its beauty.
In the summer of 1910 the painter’s condition improved and he went to Munich, where one of the rich industrialists ordered him a portrait of his wife.
However, it was only a calm before the storm. Soon, his legs and arms began to hurt worse than before, and Renoir felt like he was losing control of his body.
After returning to Cagne, he was issued a wheelchair, and now he worked only sitting: on his knees they put a palette. The linen bandages wrapped their fingers and inserted a brush between them. He still loved writing the son of Claude and Gabriel, who was portrayed in transparent clothes and naked, conveying the surroundings and figure of his model in beautiful fabric overflows, in the gentle glitter of flowers and ornaments, with incredible love writing out her breasts.
1912 year. Renoir’s fame grew, his villa was constantly besieged by hundreds of journalists and young artists, the organizers held more and more exhibitions, one of which the early work of the master was sold at a fabulous price of 95,000 francs at the time!
Anxiety settled in his soul. He wrote for the first time to forget himself: he automatically drove along the canvas with a brush, so children, flowers and nudes came out as cheerful as before.
In 1915, Alina died. For a long time she hid from her husband, with whom she lived 33 happy years, that she is sick with diabetes. Sitting by the bed dying, the artist could not hold back his tears. He kissed his wife on the forehead and asked him to take him to the workshop.
By 1913, Renoir was completely immobilized. However, he wanted to create! Once Ambarois Vollard, a well-known merchant of paintings, complained to him. He said that Renoir could create, but not pictures and not with his own hands. Suffice it to recall Auguste Rodin, who provided an opportunity to sculpt enlarged statues from the statuettes he created to his students. So, to replace the painting must come sculpture!
Renoir had long been nurturing such an idea, and Vollard’s words only confirmed him in the correctness of this thought. In addition, the trader brought in the studio of the painter Richard Guineau – a young student of the sculptor Aristide Maillol.
The work began. Guineau and Renoir worked well: the student understood his teacher from a half-word.
In 1914, Renoir joined the “Venus”: first a statuette was made, and after work the full-scale statue with a height of eighty meters was boiled. At the request of the industrialist Maurice Gagna, the master made a plaster bas-relief “Court of Paris”, after conceiving later to embody in bronze all the figures from this composition in full growth and decorate them with the “Colette” park.
In the same year, the First World War began, to which the two elder sons of Renoir were called.
There on the easel there was an unfinished painting with roses. The master’s shoulders shook with sobs. Smear after smear, he gave these flowers life.
Sculpture Renoir was engaged until 1918, until they had no discord with Guineau, after which the apprentice left.
The whole space of the artist was filled with flowers, only flowers emerged from under his brush. Creating the whole as if in parts, Renoir was happy, he was a singer of happiness. Probably, very few people managed to live life in accordance with its laws, with the laws of nature.
In the autumn of 1915, Renoir returned to the Villa Collette, where another miracle awaited him: he was brought a new model – the red-haired beauty of Andre, or Dede, as everyone called her. Renoir rose in spirit and with new strength began to work. He felt an inner glow that had not embraced him so long.
But, unfortunately, the illness did not let go of his body: first bronchitis, then pneumonia and terrible, not passing rheumatic pains. The artist was exhausted from his bad state of health, but he did not lose his presence of spirit and struggled with adversity as best he could.
Once he was asked why he continues to write, experiencing such incredible tortures, to which he replied:
“Suffering passes, but beauty remains.”
December 2, 1919 at the age of 78 years, a great artist and sculptor died of pneumonia, having completed his last work – a still life with anemones.
He worked until his last breath: over the past decade, more than 100 canvases emerged from under his hand. They did not even have time to put them in the frames, so they stood in his workshop, nailed to the usual wooden sticks.
Renoir paintings are presented in many museums around the world, but the largest collection, including works of all periods, is kept in the Louvre.
In 1960 a museum of the artist was opened at the Villa Colette.