The DVD “Renoir” by French screenwriter, producer and director Gilles Bourdos is very worth the time to view.
There’s a modern tendency to think of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) as not being one of the true French Impressionists, as if he somehow abandoned the movement and went off to paint only portraits and buxom nudes. As the core Impressionist with the greatest figurative skills, his work embraces more genres, but it’s all too often forgotten how central he was to the development of Impressionist landscape painting.
Renoir was born in Limoges, just to the west of the middle of France, on 25 February 1841. His father was a tailor, and the family soon moved, when Auguste was but a toddler, to seek their fortune in Paris. As a child, he showed an early aptitude for drawing and singing, and was taught music by the composer Charles Gounod.
The Renoirs’ relocation didn’t bring the expected change in fortune, so once he was thirteen, young Auguste started his apprenticeship at a…
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