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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919) is one of the best-loved painters in the history of modern art. After participating in the earliest Impressionist exhibitions in the 1870s and early 1880s, Renoir went on to paint for three more decades, focusing on the bucolic landscapes of the south of France, idealized bathing groups, scenes of his family, and portraiture. His paintings are charming and accessible, yet often boldly experimental, with loose brushstrokes and unexpected compositional arrangements.
Throughout his career, Renoir looked to the past for inspiration and was influenced especially by eighteenth-century French painters and by the artists of the Italian Renaissance. He is known above all for his mastery of color and facility in the handling of paint, qualities that during his own time won him the admiration of his peers, including Henri Matisse, and that continue to charm audiences today.