Video screen capture of Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting in his studio in 1915
Katherine Luer blogs about Pierre-Auguste Renoir's extraordinary drive to paint late in life and posts a video of Renoir painting in 1915.
She writes: "Renoir suffered from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis for [the] last three decades or so of his life. His hands were deformed, his joints severely damaged, and he was wheelchair-bound for most of his later years. He adapted his painting techniques to cope: his children or other assistants held his palettes, placed paintbrushes in his permanently curled fingers, and even moved his canvases underneath his paintbrush so that he could hold his arm still to reduce the pain."
Einspruch writes: "Perhaps best of all is Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (Francisca and Angelina Wartenberg), on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago. This 1879 painting depicts young circus performers in gold-fringed outfits. One girl has collected oranges thrown to them in congratulations, while the other gestures as if winding up for a full bow. Subtle shifts of precision and softness throw the two figures not only into different spaces, but into slightly different times, with a slower universe around the closer figure. The artist's touch is perfect, his signature softness lending even the sawdust floor a luminous delicacy."
Gael Mooney reflects on an exhibition of Late Renoir paintings at Hammer Galleries: "The works in this show possess a quiet and intimate beauty that contrasts with the fleeting gaiety of Renoir’s Impressionist period for which he is best known." In recent years, Mooney points out, Renoir's late work has re-emerged as a significant influence on subsequent artists "the likes of Picasso, Matisse, and Bonnard all of whom collected his work."
Haber writes that in the painting The Umbrellas, Renoir "surrounded a family dressed for success with the broader shading of clouds, a woman's full-length dress, and a swarm of umbrellas behind her. Those broader fields of blue and gray now fill the picture. Streaked with lighter tones, they show Renoir at his most modern, almost like the color planes of Paul Cézanne. And the critics were on to something, for Renoir was never better than when he cast color theories to the winds and indulged in black. In Moulin de la Galette, blacks ripple through the picture almost like points of light."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.