I’m like a piece of cork thrown in the water and carried by the current.

I let my painting take me where it will.      — Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) was one of the leading artists in the development of the Impressionist style. He loved to paint pretty children, beautiful flowers and scenery, and mostly lovely women. “Why shouldn’t art be pretty?”, he said, “There are enough unpleasant things in the world.”


One of Renoir’s earliest known paintings is this still life of flowers, dated 1858; in 1919 are flowers yet again. In between he was never tired of this traditional subject.

Flowers by Renoir1858

Renoir died on December 3, 1919.  According to his son Jean, a few hours earlier, Renoir asked for his palette and paintbrush to paint some flowers.  As he handed them back to his nurse, he murmured,

I think I’m beginning to understand something about this.” 

Monet and Renoir had been lifelong friends. Together, they struggled, traveled, developed Impressionism, and grew old… Renoir had a great Salon success in 1879, and Monet became secure financially during the early 1880s.  After Renoir died, Monet said, “Renoir took part of my life with him.”

Renoir portrait, 1899

(–Renoir self-portrait)

Note: pictures are from wiki commons

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