Pierre-Auguste Renoir, L'Enfant Au Biscuit, (Delteil 31), 1899, Unsigned, Original lithograph, Edition Proof, 25" x 18 1/2" Sheet Size
Pierre Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges on February 25, 1841. As a child, Renoir worked painting designs in a porcelain factory in Paris, and at seventeen copied paintings on fans, lamp shades, and blinds. He studied painting formally from 1862 to 1863 at the academy of the Swiss painter Charles Gabriel Gleyre in Paris. Renoir's early work was influenced primarily by Claude Monet's treatment of light by Eugène Delacroix's treatment of color. Renoir first exhibited paintings in Paris in 1864, but he did not gain recognition until ten years later, at the first exhibition of painters of the new impressionist school. One of the most famous of all impressionist works is Renoir's Le Bal au Moulin de la Galette from 1876, an open-air scene of a cafe in which his mastery in figure painting and in representing light is evident. Renoir fully established his reputation with a solo exhibition held at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris in 1883, and in 1887 he completed a series of studies of a group of nude female figures known as The Bathers. These works reveal his extraordinary ability to depict the lustrous, pearly color and texture of skin and to impart lyrical feeling and plasticity to a subject; they are unsurpassed in the history of modern painting in their representation of feminine grace. Many of his later paintings also treat the same theme in an increasingly bold rhythmic style. During the last twenty years of his life, Renoir was crippled by arthritis. Despite his inability to move his hands freely, he continued to paint by using a brush strapped to his arm. Renoir died at Cagnes, a village in the south of France, on December 3, 1919.