The Casual Majesty: Renoir Paintings For Your Parlor

December 12, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Sales

Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings will be seen forever. Almost one hundred years after the mater’s death in 1919, they remain some of the most valuable and reproduced of all paintings. The artist’s very name means artistic excellence, of the sort that shows the beauty of ordinary life.

He painted at a time when acceptable art still stood in the shadow of the Renaissance. What was expected was idealized subjects, often taken out of legend and myth. Renoir, along with several colleagues, saw that the age called for images from every day life.

This new approach is on display in “Ball at the Moulin de la Galette”. As an Impressionist, Renoir uses color, and even more specifically, light, to capture a moment in the midst of an afternoon’s festivity. He has found a swirl of activity without rest, and in that swirl frozen one fleeting instant. The action has greater tempo to the left and above, and again to the right, whereas the center is more quiet, but nowhere does it come to rest.

Overhead, brilliant green leaves from the spring or summer trees. Just beneath them, the large white orbs of the street lamps suspended in the air like bubbles. The scene they celebrate is an outdoor dance, with merry couples enjoying the afternoon. In the foreground is a cafe, with two men in dark clothing inside having caught the attention of two girls on a bench just outside. They exchange flirtations while the music plays. It’s an ordinary slice of ordinary life.

“Luncheon of the Boating Party” is also set out doors at a cafe. Again, if any meaning accrues to the image, it’s that of the importance of life’s small pleasures. Young friends sit in light commerce around a well-appointed table. One woman toys with a small dogs. The others laugh, joke, or flirt.

In one sense, the master has an advantage he might not have anticipated himself. He might have thought himself being quite the everyman simply by not painting images of Olympus or at least Versailles. To us, however, it’s still 19th Century Paris, “Gay Paree” at its zenith. You can’t get more exotic, and the paintings benefit from that glamor.

Renoir was one of the great portraitists of women in the history of art. His women are at once erotic and full human beings. He seems to clearly adore them, but without the distance of idealism or objectification.”Marie Maurer” poses in white, both her dress and the bow in her hair, with the smile not the smile of an overblown idea of the Eternal Feminine, but of a pleasant middle class woman posing for her portrait. The two sun-tanned “Laundresses” don’t regard us at all, nor their own beauty.

To peer into Renoir’s work is to perceive people from another time and place, almost 150 years in many cases, who are essentially the same as ourselves. We see them on holiday, at picnic, rowing on a river, wherever it can be at their most intimate. We see them through the eye a master of light and color. No wonder we will always treasure Renoir paintings.

Pierre Auguste Renoir paintings are unique and beautiful. You can visit our online store to view our fabulous selection of Renoir paintings, now.


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