25 February 1841; Limoges, France
03 December 1919; Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Pierre Auguste Renoir was a French artist, and was a leading painter of the Impressionist style. As a young boy, he worked in a porcelain factory. His drawing skills were early recognized, and he was soon employed to create designs on the fine china. He also painted decorations on fans before beginning art school . He moved to Paris in 1862 to study art, where he met Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley, all great impressionist painters. By 1864, he was exhibiting works at the Paris Salon, but his works went largely unnoticed for the next ten years, mostly in part to the disorder caused by the Franco-Prussian War.
Later, during the Paris Commune on 1871, Renoir was painting on the banks of the Seine River, when he was approached by a number of members from the commune, who thought he was a spy. They threatened to throw in into the rive, but he was saved by the leader of the commune, Raoul Rigault, whom he had protected on an earlier occasion. He experienced his first artistic success in 1874, at the first Impressionist Exhibition, and later in London of the same year. In 1881, Renoir began his world travels, voyaging to Italy to see the works of the Renaissance masters, and later to Algeria, following in the footsteps of Eugene Delacroix. It was in Algeria where he encountered a serious bout with pneumonia, leaving him bed ridden for six weeks, and permanently damaging his respiratory system.
In the later years of his life, not even severe rheumatoid arthritis, which left him confined to a wheelchair and limited his movement, could deter Renoir from painting. His arthritis eventually got so bad as to leave a permanent physical deformity of his hands and shoulder, which required him to change his painting technique to adapt to his physical limitations. Before his death in 1919, Renoir traveled to the Louvre to see his paintings hanging in the museum alongside the masterpieces of the great masters. He was a prolific artist, created several thousands artworks in his lifetime, and include some of the most well-known paintings in the art world.