Best known for portraiture, figurative work, and his series of voluptuous bathing women, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among the first group of French Impressionist painters.
In the 1860s, he painted en plein air with Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley in the forest of Fontainebleau. Rejecting traditional methods of building paintings with layers of thin glazes, the Impressionists worked spontaneously to capture the fleeting effects of light using bright pigments, large brushstrokes, and thick impasto. By the late 1870s, dissatisfied with the spontaneity of Impressionism, Renoir moved toward a more traditional, less experimental approach.
By the 1890s, Renoir’s paintings recall the rich color of Titian and Rubens and the sensual beauty of 18th-century French art. Renoir was celebrated in the early 20th century as one of the greatest modern French painters.