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Fascinating Facts about Renoir Scramble Squares®
Pierre Auguste Renoir was a French impressionist oil painter noted for his colorful, intimate paintings on canvas, particularly of women. Recognized by critics as one of the greatest and most independent painters of his period, Renoir is noted for the harmony of his lines, the radiance of his color and the intimate charm of his wide variety of subjects, which were more likely to be people, rather than landscapes. Renoir was born into a large family in Limoges, France on February 25, 1841. He moved with his family to Paris when he was 3, where his father was a tailor and his mother was a dressmaker. From the age of 13, Renoir worked by painting flowers on porcelain plates. This early painting experience left a decorative flair to his art. When machines were invented for coloring ceramics, Renoir began decorating fans and screens. In 1862, he entered Ecole des Beaux-Art in Paris, where he met other painters of the French Impressionist style, including Monet, Sisley and Bazille, Pissarro and Cézanne, with whom he became friends.

Renoir first exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1864 to disapproving critiques, but in 1867, Renoir’s portrait of his model and lover Lise Trehot was met with critical acclaim. From 1868-1870, he shared a studio with Bazille in Paris and shared a room at Bazille’s house with Monet. He spent the summer of 1869 with Monet at Bougival on the Seine; together they worked out the main principles of the Impressionist method. Renoir’s Impressionism style reached its peak in the 1870s, while he worked at Argenteuil and in Paris. He participated in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1874, 1876, 1877 and 1882 and was a founding member of the review L’Impressionniste (1877), where he published his article on the principles of contemporary art.

In spite of his early disappointments, Renoir actually achieved recognition ahead of his famous friends Monet, Pissarro and Cézanne. In 1880, he met Aline Charigot, the love of his life, who was to become the mother of his three sons. In 1881, Renoir traveled to paint in Algeria and later in Italy, where he was strongly influenced by the Renaissance art of Raphael and by the Pompeii frescoes. Renoir abandoned Impressionism in the 1880s for what is often called the “dry style.” He began a search for solid form and stable composition, a search, which led him back to the masters of the Italian Renaissance. Working more carefully and meticulously, Renoir’s colors became cooler and smoother during this period. He later returned to hot rich colors and free brush work of his earlier days to portray nudes in sunlight, a style, which he continued to develop to the end of his life. In 1886, the art dealer Durand-Ruel exhibited 32 of Renoir's paintings in New York, an exhibit which opened the American market for Impressionism.

In December 1888, Renoir suffered his first attacks of arthritis, which would eventually cripple his hands. He married Aline in 1890, and in that same year, Renoir broke his right arm. Seemingly undaunted, Renoir continued to paint, painting left handed! Renoir’s right arm finally became paralyzed from arthritis in 1898, but this dedicated artist strapped his brushes to his wrist and continued to paint through excruciating pain. In spite of the great pain he suffered, Renoir finished his large-scale composition “The Bathers” (“The Nymphs”), in 1919, not long before his death. Renoir died at the age of 78 in Cagnes-Sur-Mer on December 3, 1919 and was buried next to Aline in Essoyes.

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