Self Portrait Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on this day in 1841.  One of six children, he would eventually become one of the greatest artists of the early twentieth century.   His father and mother were a tailor and seamstress.  When Pierre was only three years old, the family moved to Paris from Limoges, France near the Louvre Art Museum.

He showed artistic tendencies when very young and was encouraged by his parents to continue along those lines. When a teen ager, he got a job as an apprentice to a porcelain painter.  He started by painting floral patterns on porcelain plates.  During this time he also engaged in free art classes offered at a city sponsored art school.  He, like most artists, found it difficult to make a living at his art, but his passion was never deterred.

After serving in the military he returned to Paris in 1871 and began painting with friends, Edgar Degas, Monet, Cezanne and Pissarro who were experimenting with a new type of painting called impressionism.  They painted outdoors, using a colorful pallet and many brush strokes.  At their first exhibit, they were criticized for showing unfinished paintings.  Part of impressionism is to leave some areas muted or softened for the imagination of the viewer.  Light is extremely important as well.

With the support of wealthy patrons, he was able to present another exhibition.  In the meantime, he made his living doing portrait painting.

As the wife of an artist, I can tell you a little about the art of painting outdoors. You have much more to contend with than a canvas, light, shadows, paint.  You are also working with or against the elements – rain, snow, heat, bright sun.  All this effects the way the painting will turn out. I can also attest to the fact that it is very addicting to go into nature to capture the beauty of it.  Once in the field, you feel an obligation to capture light – to paint fast before it changes – to use plenty of brush strokes and to take advantage of every second, because the light will quickly change.

Impressionism became popular in the early 1900s and continues to be appreciated to this day.  Renoir was one of those rare artists who actually made a pretty good living as an artist.  As he aged, however, he struggled with rheumatism, which remained with him until his death.  He continued to paint until his dying day.

Today, art is easily accessible to the average man on the street.  It can be electronically produced to look like an original piece.  It can be mass produced and placed in many living rooms around the world.  It would seem there might not even be a need for original art anymore, but I believe that we still need artists.  They not only fill our lives with beauty, they challenge our creativity as well.  With the Impressionist Movement, we are led into a painting through the light and shadows.  We have a destination to reach.  We become enraptured by the work and create our own stories through it.  Art is really about giving and receiving.

I hope we never lose sight of the amazing artists who set the world on fire with their work and I pray that we continue to appreciate the wonderful talent they are willing to share with the world.

Luncheon of the Boating Party – Renoir




As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on
This entry was posted in biography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. And of course, you KNOW I love this post! 🙂 You have done a beautiful job of recounting Monet’s life as well as explaining the artistic process. And to top it all off, you give a brilliant justification for art itself. Love this. By the way, did you know that a once famous American Impressionist lived. He was a contemporary to Monet and Renoir, but unlike both of them, he was wildly successful during his lifetime… a bit like the Thomas Kincaide of his day. But sadly, after he died, he was all but forgotten while Monet and Renoir soared in fame after their deaths. Pretty ironic, isn’t it? Yet, very few today have heard of Gary Melcher of Stafford, Virginia. Fun stuff. Perhaps, if you and Paul make it out this way, I can take you to Melcher’s home and studio. ❤ and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was really pleased to happen upon this post by accident – I am a great fan of Impressionism and love informatives posts like thsi generally. It’s so nice to learn something new 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s