|About the Book|
Of all the Impressionist artists, only Pierre Auguste Renoir earned distinction as a professional portrait painter. For more than fifty years Renoir explored the genre of portraiture, experimenting and pressing forward in his determination to becomeMoreOf all the Impressionist artists, only Pierre Auguste Renoir earned distinction as a professional portrait painter. For more than fifty years Renoir explored the genre of portraiture, experimenting and pressing forward in his determination to become -- as he explained to Monet in 1884 -- a painter of figures. This sumptuously illustrated book is the first devoted exclusively to Renoirs portraiture, and in it are gathered the finest examples of the portraits he painted during each period of his prolific career. In these delightful paintings Renoir creates uniquely endearing and enduring images of pleasure, comfort, and prosperity.In introductory essays, the authors investigate Renoirs career as a portrait painter, the importance of portraiture within the work of his fellow Impressionists, and one of Renoirs keenest collectors -- a man who commissioned two portraits of his wife and was part of the milieu that sustained the artist in the middle years of his career. In addition, Colin Bailey has reconstructed the biographies of all the figures represented in the portraits in this volume and offers new information on the families and subsequent careers of Renoirs subjects, drawing on unpublished sources in Parisian and provincial archives and on material discovered in the collections of subjects descendants. Previously unpublished photographs of Renoirs models are also included, underscoring the high degree of authenticity and fidelity to .appearances that is the hallmark of Renoirs portrait style. Renoir Portraits is not only a feast for the eye, it is sure to become the standard book on the subject for years to come.