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  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
    Feb 25, 1841 – Dec 3, 1919
  • Albert Cahen d'Anvers - Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau", he was noted for his radiant, intimate paintings, particularly of the female nude.
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Albert Cahen d'Anvers
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  • Albert Cahen d'Anvers

  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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  • 1881
    Oil on canvas
    80.17 cm (31.56 in.) x 63.82 cm (25.13 in.)
    J. Paul Getty Museum, United States.

    Pierre-Auguste Renoir depicted the self-assured composer Albert Cahen d'Anvers, a former pupil of César Franck, nonchalantly smoking a cigarette at a friend's home. Traditionally, portraits of men were somber, but Renoir combined decorativeness with fidelity to his sitter's appearance. Facial hair was regarded as a powerful indicator of male sexuality, and Renoir shows Cahen d'Anvers's curled mustache echoing the wallpaper's curves, his ruffled red hair referring to the potted plant's feathery leaves. Cahen d'Anvers's authority and status are suggested through his alert, commanding gaze and details such as his elaborate cigarette holder and cravat.

    Renoir hoped that success in portraiture would lead to success in the wider potential market attracted by the Salon. Twenty years into his career, he had become so disenchanted with Impressionism that he called the movement a "blind alley." He modified his style, combining the loose, painterly effects of early works such as La Promenadewith Renaissance painting's firm contours and weighty forms. He began receiving portrait commissions, often from wealthy Jewish patrons. Only a year after making this portrait, however, his uncertainty about achieving his aims through portraiture and his increasing anti-Semitism meant that portraiture no longer appeared so promising to him.

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Other paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir:

Umbrellas
Umbrellas
The Path through the Forest
The Path through the Forest
Summer Landscape (Woman with a Parasol in a Garden)
Summer Landscape (Woman with a Parasol in a Garden)
Still Life with Roses
Still Life with Roses
Pierre-Auguste RenoirBorn in Limoges, Renoir moved to Paris and began his career as an apprentice painter in a porcelain manufacturing plant. His formal studies began at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1862 and continued at Gleyre's studio where he painted with fellow Impressionists, Sisley and Monet. Renoir's early paintings demonstrate his love of 18th Century French painting as well as the influence of Courbet and Delacroix.

The artist's portraits of women, often engaged in mundane daily activities, demonstrate his skill as a colorist. Working on a small scale, the artist used the subtleties of light and color to model his subjects. In the first years of the 20th Century, Renoir, encumbered by the effects of rheumatism, retreated to his home in the south of France where he increasingly turned to painting a favored subject: the female nude. These sensitive renderings, widely regarded as among the artist's finest works, represent a stylistic departure from Renoir's earlier paintings, evoking the nudes of the classical world.