Meet the Masters
RENOIR, PIERRE AUGUSTE (REN-wahr, PEE-air, OH-gust) (1841-1919)
WASHERWOMEN BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
Impressionism Date: 1887 Size: 22 1/4” x 18 1/2” Medium: Watercolor
ARTIST - Pierre Auguste Renoir was a very famous Impressionist painter. He was born in Limoges, France. By the age of 13, he was earning money as an assistant painter of porcelain. This work helped him gain decorative skill. He was a talented, skilled artist who painted realistically because he studied the important art of the past.
Renoir painted in the Impressionist style using lot of color to make the picture light and warm. Because he wanted to be original, he sometimes used color itself without form.
When Renoir was 21 years old, he went to the Paris Art School. He enjoyed being with other art students, but Renoir did not like the strict rules and he felt the classes were boring. Renoir and his friends left school and began to paint together.
Renoir and the Impressionists did painting after painting of water -- flowing, sparkling, and moving. The Impressionists painted very quickly, right on the canvas. They used small strokes of bright color to get the effect of sunlight and movement. They painted their "first impressions" of scenes of everyday life, which give a different feeling from photographs.
PRINT - In The Washerwomen, Renoir shows us how he uses color to "bathe his canvases in warmth and light." You can see the small brush strokes of built up paint that the artist uses to portray The Washerwomen. His colors are bright and sunny, as if you can almost feel the sunlight. Renoir's figures are not posed. They are quite unconscious of being watched and go about their business. The casual placement of the figures and the suggested continuity of space spreading out in all directions draws us into the very scene and makes us feel a part of it. Renoir tried to capture nature and light as it was.
PORTFOLIO G PAIRED WITH:
SARGENT OYSTER GATHERERS AT CANCALE