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Renoir was born in Limoges in 1841, and moved to Paris in about 1845. He was apprenticed at the age of 12 to a painter of porcelain. In 1862 he enrolled in evening courses of anatomy and drawing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, as well as painting lessons in the studio of Charles Gleyre.

In was in the studio of Charles Gleyre that Renoir met Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley, with whom he established the Impressionist movement. The future Impressionists did not agree with the academic style of their teacher, sharing instead a common pursuit of an art that was free from past traditions. Influenced by Gustave Courbet, the students began to take trips to Fontainebleau to paint directly from nature.

Renoir’s early work featured characteristically Impressionist vignettes of real life as it appeared around him, brimming with colour and light. Around 1869-74 he worked alongside Monet along the Seine near Paris, between them evolving what was the characteristic Impressionist idiom. From the mid 1880s, inspired by visits to Italy where he discovered the work of Raphael and to Provence where he worked with Cézanne, Renoir broke with the Impressionist movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique. In later years his work centred on more personal and intimate themes, whilst he also began to make sculpture.

Renoir’s work is represented in distinguished museum and private collections around the world.

The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion; it is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.

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