Pierre-Auguste Renoir Quotes

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1841 – 1919

Born: 25 February 1841, Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France
Died: 3 December 1919, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Renoir was apprenticed to a porcelain factory at thirteen where he painted floral designs on plates, then worked painting cloth panels of religious scenes used by missionaries in their churches, normally spending his lunch hour at the Louvre. In 1862 he started evening courses at the École des Beaux-Arts and studied with Charles Gleyre in his studio. Three new students arrived at the studio a few months later: Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, and Frédéric Bazille. The four started working in a new direction and often met with Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro, forming the group which mounted the original Impressionist exposition in 1874. By 1890 he had moved somewhat toward Classicism from the core of Impressionism, reintroducing black and focusing more on line. About 1892 he began suffering from rheumatoid arthritis which made it painful paint, moving to the south of France apparently helped. He persisted in pain, although there is no basis for the idea that his brushes were strapped to his hand; he could hold but no pick them up. He also directed the work of a young sculptor, Richard Guino, to create his last sculptures. He was taken to the Louvre one last time after the state had acquired and hung his Portrait of Mme Georges Charpentier there, friends wheeled him past the works of the masters he had spent his lunchtime to study six decades before, he died at home a few months later.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir quotes:

A fat lot of good it would do if I told you that Titian’s courtesans make you want to caress them. Some day you’ll see the Titians for yourself, and if they have no effect on you, then you don’t understand the first thing about painting. And I wouldn’t be able to help you.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

About 1883 something like a break occurred in my work. I had reached the end of “impressionism”, and I had come to realize that I did not know how to paint or draw.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

An artist must eat sparingly and give up a normal way of life.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Be a good craftsman; it won’t stop you being a genius.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Go and see what others have produced, but never copy anything except nature. You would be trying to enter into a temperament that is not yours and nothing that you would do would have any character.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

God, the king of artists, was clumsy.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

How is it that in the so-called barbarian ages art was understood, whereas in our age of progress exactly the opposite is true?
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I arrange my subject as I want it, then I go ahead and paint it, like a child.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I feel sorry for men who are always running after women. What a job! On duty day and night: not a minute’s respite. I’ve known painters who never did any good work because instead of painting their models they seduced them.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I had wrung impressionism dry and I finally came to the conclusion that I know neither how to paint nor how to draw.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I have a predilection for painting that lends joyousness to a wall.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I have arrived more definitely than any other painter during his lifetime; honours shower upon me from every side; artists pay me compliments on my work; there are many people to whom my position must seem enviable…. But I don’t seem to have a single real friend!
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I have no rules and no methods … no secrets.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I look at a nude. There are myriads of tiny tints. I must find the ones that will make the flesh on my canvas live and quiver.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I need to feel the excitement of life stirring around me, and I will always need to feel that.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I want a red to be sonorous, to sound like a bell. If it doesn’t turn out that way, I add more reds and other colors until I get it.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors was black.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I’ve known painters who never did any good work because instead of painting their models they seduced them.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I’ve spent my life making blunders.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

If the painter works directly from nature, he ultimately looks for nothing but momentary effects; he does not try to compose, and soon he gets monotonous.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

If [dabbling in art] didn’t amuse me, I beg you to believe that I wouldn’t do it.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

In a few generations you can breed a racehorse. The recipe for making a man like Delacroix is less well known.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

In painting, as in the other arts, there’s not a single process, no matter how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

In painting, as in the other arts, there’s not a single process, no matter how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula. You come to nature with your theories, and she knocks them all flat.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

It is after you have lost your teeth that you can afford to buy steaks.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

It took me twenty years to discover painting: twenty years looking at nature, and above all, going to the Louvre.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

My concern has always been to paint nudes as if they were some splendid fruit.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Paint with joy, with the same joy that you would make love to a woman.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

People love to be nice, but you must give them the chance.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Photography freed painting from a lot of tiresome chores, starting with family portraits.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Progress in painting, there’s no such thing! … One day I went and changed the yellow on my palette. Well, the result was, I floundered for ten years!
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Regularity, order, desire for perfection destroy art. Irregularity is the basis of all art.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Religion is everywhere. It is in the mind, in the heart, in the love you put into what you do.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Shall I tell you what I think are the two qualities of a work of art? First, it must be the indescribable, and second, it must be inimitable.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The advantage of growing old is that you become aware of your mistakes more quickly.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The artist who uses the least of what is called imagination will be the greatest.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The modern architect is, generally speaking, art’s greatest enemy.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The most important element in a picture cannot be defined.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The only reward one should offer an artist is to buy his work.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The only way to understand painting is to go and look at it. And if out of a million visitors there is even one to whom art means something, that is enough to justify museums.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The pain passes, but the beauty remains.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

There are some things in painting which cannot be explained, and that something is essential.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

They tell you that a tree is only a combination of chemical elements. I prefer to believe that God created it, and that it is inhabited by a nymph.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

To be an artist you must learn the laws of nature.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

To get someone to pose, you have to be very good friends and above all speak the language.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

What is to be done about these literary people, who will never understand that painting is a craft and that the material side comes first? The ideas come afterwards, when the picture is finished.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

When I’ve painted a woman’s bottom so that I want to touch it, then [the painting] is finished.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

White does not exist in nature.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

With a limited palette, the older painters could do just as well as today…. What they did was sounder.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Work lovingly done is the secret of all order and all happiness.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

You come to nature with your own theories, and she knocks them all flat.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

You don’t talk about paintings, you look at them.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

You’ve got to be a fool to want to stop the march of time.
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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