Pierre Auguste Renoir was born on 25 February 1841 in Limoges and grew up in Paris. He began his career as a commercial porcelain painter, wand would spend his spare time copying paintings at the Musée du Louvre. In 1862, he entered the studio of academic artist Charles Gleyre, where he met Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley. The four would soon become friends, regularly travelling to the forest of Fontainebleau to paint en plein air. In 1864, Renoir’s first submission to the official Salon was accepted and he began executing portrait commissions. His work was accepted intermittently at the Salon until the early 1870s. In 1869, Renoir met Paul Alexis, Paul Cézanne, Edmond Duranty, the photographer Nadar (Félix Tournachon), and Emile Zola. He also often painted with Monet, including a seminal two months in the summer at La Grenouillère, a catalytic moment for the birth of Impressionism. In 1872, Renoir met the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel and visited Gustave Caillebotte with Monet. The following year he participated in the Salon des Refusés and in 1874, the first Impressionist exhibition. Renoir would participate in the second, third, and seventh Impressionist shows of 1876, 1877, and 1882, but declined to show in the other four.
During the late 1870s Renoir associated with Cézanne, Jules Champfleury, Paul Guillaumin, and the paint dealer Père Tanguy. At this stage, Renoir was producing portrait commissions of members of the upper-middle class society, whom he had been introduced to by publisher Georges Charpentier. Between 1881-82, he made several trips to Provence, Algeria and Italy. Durand-Ruel organised a solo exhibition of his work in 1883. That same year Renoir travelled to the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and to L’Estaque to see Cézanne. He exhibited with the group Les Vingt in Brussels in 1885, 1886, and 1889. He began a lifelong association with Stéphane Mallarmé in 1887. In 1890, he participated in the Salon for the last time and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. In 1892, Durand-Ruel held another exhibition of Renoir’s work, which proved extremely successful. Despite failing health, Renoir continued to paint until his death on 3 December 1919, in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.
Renoir’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Frick Collection, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Neue Pinakothek, Munich; Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna; Kunstmuseum Basel; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Louvre, Paris; the National Gallery, London; the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; the Tate Collection, London.
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