“For me, a picture, since it is easel paintings that we have to paint, should be something lovable, joyful, and pretty: yes, pretty!,” Pierre-August Renoir once said in self-defense. “I know how difficult it is to get people to admit that a picture can be joyful and still be a very great painting.” Ever since rising to prominence with the generation of the Impressionists, Renoir has felt the sting of the beauty without the brains label. Anne Distel’s Renoir, a mammoth new monograph from Abbeville Press, wants to prove that Renoir is much more than just a pretty face.
[Image: Renoir, By the Seashore (1883)]
[Many thanks to Abbeville Press for providing me with a review copy of Anne Distel’s Renoir.]