Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) was a French leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, the child of a working class family . As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to him being chosen to paint designs on fine china .
Renoir filled his work with the joie de vivre of a happy temperament. When we look at his work we know that we are the casual stroller who takes in this slice of life in passing but nothing more. However he makes us extremely happy to see it. A prolific artist, he made several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir's style made his paintings some of the most well-known and frequently-reproduced works in the history of art.
In the 1890s Renoir began to suffer from rheumatism, and from 1903 (by which time he was world-famous) he lived in the warmth of the south of France. The rheumatism eventually crippled him (by 1912 he was confined to a wheelchair), but he continued to paint until the end of his life. In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with the old masters. He died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, French Riviera, on December 3.
In 1977 his Baigneuse Couchée fetched $ 660,00 at a auction sale in New York City. Two of Renoir's paintings have sold for more than $70 million : Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre sold for $ 78.1 million in 1990.