Born in Limoges in 1841, Pierre-Auguste Renoir began painting on porcelain at the age of 14. A few years later, he entered the School of Fine Arts and attended the Gleyre workshop, where he met Sisley, Bazille and Monet.
The beginning of the artist’s career is marked by working outdoors, in order to paint on the motif and in natural light, in the image of his friends at the Café Guerbois. During this impressionist period, Renoir painted town and country landscapes, as well as genre scenes; his gestures are vivid, the characters remain in sketchy form.
The discovery of Delacroix’s works, however, brought about a turning point in the painter’s artistic career. In 1881, he travelled to Algeria and then to Italy, where he drew inspiration from the great Florentine artists. His style was then detached from that of the Impressionists: his drawing became more precise, his contours sharper, and large areas of color form a smooth material. Thus, the period between 1883 and 1890 is described as “ingresque” or “dry”. Nevertheless, strongly criticised, Renoir chose to abandon his rigour, while retaining the modeling of his subjects. The craftsmanship then appears more supple and voluptuous, the result of greater fluidity and transparency.
After 1897, Renoir finally opted for an impulsive, direct and unretouched style. His favourite subjects were naked, bushy women. But some twenty years later, the acute rheumatic attacks that had been chasing the artist for many years finally brought him to an end: Renoir died in Cagnes on 3 December 1919.
The auction house Aguttes, with its experts, regularly sold works by this artist that are no longer shown. These made remarkable prices. His timeless works continue to attract art lovers all over the world.