Anne Distel, is the conservateur général honoraire du patrimoine at the Musée d'Orsay and author of numerous books on 19th century painting . She is also a professor of art history at the University of Paris Sorbonne-Paris and an impressionist painting specialist.
By Anne Distel
The definitive monograph on one of the world's best-loved artists, sumptuously illustrated in full color.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) stands out among the great artists for his willingness to paint pictures that are straightforwardly pretty and charming: he chooses familiar and sympathetic human types as his subjects, and depicts them with an appealing immediacy, using an attractively bright and rosy palette. Not all of his four thousand or so paintings are equally good; some fall short on formal grounds, and others, not surprisingly, sink into sentimentality. But Renoir's best works are masterpieces, perhaps the most joyous and effervescent ones in the history of art—his great monuments to leisure, Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette and Luncheon of the Boating Party; his delicate portraits of women and children, like the winsome Girl with a Watering Can; and his many frankly sensual nudes.
In this highly readable monograph, noted art historian Anne Distel offers an illuminating new account of the life of the man who created such singularly sparkling works. The author deftly narrates Renoir’s rise from apprentice porcelain painter to celebrated artist, quoting judiciously from the painter’s own vivid letters and offering keen analyses of his style at each stage of his sixty-year career. And Distel does not consider that career in isolation, but uses the latest discoveries in the documentary evidence—some of them her own—to re-create the artistic and social milieus in which Renoir worked. She traces his relationships with other artists, both his fellow Impressionists and older contemporaries like Corot and Daubigny as well as the younger Bonnard, Matisse, and Picasso; with writers like Zola, Mallarmé, and Mirbeau; and, in particular, with the dealers and patrons who were so important to his career, like Paul Durand-Ruel, Ambroise Vollard, the Bernheim brothers, the Charpentiers, the Berards, Charles Ephrussi, and Dr. Barnes.
Distel's authoritative text is illustrated throughout with some three hundred beautiful color reproductions of the artist’s finest and most representative works, ensuring that this will be the Renoir monograph of reference for years to come.
This handsome volume offers new insight into one of the most engaging personalities of the Impressionist Movement.
Caillebotte's vivid representations of Parisian life bridged the gap between Realism and Impressionism during the 1870s and early 1880s. His Paris Street: Rainy Day and Floorscrapers — each the subject of a fascinating, extensively illustrated analysis in this book — have become icons of the Impressionists' devotion to scenes of modern urban life.
Prepared by an international team of scholars to accompany the major 1994–95 retrospective organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d'Orsay, Paris, and The Art Institute of Chicago, Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist reproduces 89 of his paintings and 28 of his drawings and studies, many of them from little-known private collections. Thoughtful essays examine both his work and his crucial role as an early patron and promoter of Impressionism. A chronology, list of exhibitions, and selected bibliography provide additional invaluable information.