Expertly researched and beautifully written by the world’s leading authority on Auguste Renoir’s life and work, Renoir fully reveals this most intriguing of Impressionist artists. The narrative is interspersed with more than 1,100 extracts from letters by, to, and about Renoir, 452 of which come from unpublished letters. Renoir became hugely popular despite great obstacles: thirty years of poverty followed by thirty years of progressive paralysis of his fingers. Despite these hardships, much of his work is optimistic, even joyful. Close friends who contributed money, contacts, and companionship enabled him to overcome these challenges to create more than 4,000 paintings. Renoir had intimate relationships with fellow artists (Caillebotte, Cézanne, Monet, and Morisot), with his dealers (Durand-Ruel, Bernheim, and Vollard) and with his models (Lise, Aline, Gabrielle, and Dédée). Barbara Ehrlich White’s lifetime of research informs this fascinating biography that challenges common misconceptions surrounding Renoir’s reputation.
Since 1961 White has studied more than 3,000 letters relating to Renoir and gained unique insight into his personality and character. Renoir provides an unparalleled and intimate portrait of this complex artist through images of his own iconic paintings, his own words, and the words of his contemporaries.
An in-depth biography of the French impressionist painter… ideal for readers seeking to delve deeply into Renoir's personality. White, one of the leading authorities on the life and work of Renoir, offers an ‘intimate’ look into his life, a narrative fueled by her amassing a cache of more than 3,000 letters—many from the families of Renoir's illegitimate daughter, Jeanne, and his three sons, including the great film director Jean, as well as from fellow artists. They shed particular light on his relationships with key women in his life, especially his wife, female models, and fellow artist Berthe Morisot.
— Kirkus Reviews
A moving biography of French impressionist painter Auguste Renoir, sourced from thousands of letters and hundreds of previously unpublished writings by the artist, his family, and his friends, including many first-generation impressionists. White's research is exhaustive, her enthusiasm is infectious, and her style is unaffected, ensuring chat this touching biography will enjoy a broad readership encompassing both specialists and general art enthusiasts alike.
— Publishers Weekly
Barbara Ehrlich White
Barbara Ehrlich White is Adjunct Professor Emerita of Art History at Tufts University, Massachusetts. She is the author of Renoir: His Life, Art and Letters, Impressionism in Perspective, and Impressionists Side by Side. She is the recipient of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.