178 years after his birth, the artwork of Renoir is still highly sought after, and his eye for beauty made him one of the most popular artists of the impressionist movement.
This year, on the birthday of the famous french artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, we celebrate by looking at 6 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the great artist, along with his work available at Trinity House.
More widely known as Auguste Renoir, this Frenchman was the leading Impressionist-style painter of his day. He became very popular due to his eye for beauty, sense of feminine sensuality, use of sunny colours, and his painting techniques. Even though he needed assistants to put the brush in his hands when he aged, Renoir’s passion for painting continued toward the end of his life. Apart from being an Impressionist master, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is a shining example of how far grit and determination will take one who truly aspires to be an artist. His work went on to inspire the artists of the Fauvist and Cubist movements. Today, his warmly coloured but accurate impressions continue to inspire.
Discover 6 interesting things about Renoir that you didn’t know below.
Pierre Auguste Renoir
6 Things you didn’t know about Pierre Auguste Renoir
1. He was an extremely talented singer
Although the young Renoir had a natural proclivity for drawing, he exhibited a greater talent for singing. His talent was encouraged by his teacher, who was the choir-master at the Church of St Roch at the time. However, due to the family’s financial circumstances, Renoir had to discontinue his music lessons and leave school at the age of thirteen to pursue an apprenticeship at a porcelain factory.
3. He was a quick and prolific artist
In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, with the varied landscape of beaches, cliffs, and bays, where he created fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin’s, Guernsey. These paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey in 1983. He even painted opera composer Richard Wagner in a mere 35 minutes.
5. He was forced to change his painting style at least twice
The first time was when the friendship and patronage of one Jules Le Coeur ended, which lost him the privilege of staying at the latter’s property near Fontainebleau. That had been one of Renoir’s favourite painting locations. The second time was when he developed rheumatoid arthritis. The arthritis ravaged his hands, creating deformities where there were previously none, and rendered his right shoulder joint stiff.
4. Renoir was once accused of being a spy
During the Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy and were about to throw him into the river, when a leader of the Commune, Raoul Rigault, recognised Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion.
5. Renoir taught himself to paint
As a young man Renoir would often visit the Louvre, as it was situated near the porcelain factory which he once worked at. He taught himself to paint, by copying the great works of art that hung there. The Louvre eventually purchased one of Renoir’s paintings before he died.
6. His three sons went on to become artists
His youngest son Claude, followed closely in his fathers footsteps and became a ceramic artist, while his first two sons became artists in different industries. His first son Pierre, became a stage film actor and his second son Jean, became a film maker.
Work by Pierre Auguste Renoir at Trinity House
Esquisse de Paysage
Size: 5.75 x 10.25 inches (14.61 x 26.04 cm)