Renoir's Muses, or Hymn to Female Beauty: whose portraits the artist painted throughout his life
Renoir's Muses, or Hymn to Female Beauty: whose portraits the artist painted throughout his life
Auguste Renoir. Left - Girls in Black, 1880-1882. Right - Summer (Gypsy Girl), 1868

Great French impressionist painter Auguste Renoir said: "I still did not know how to walk, but already loved women." Women were for him the embodiment of harmony and beauty, a source of inspiration and the main theme of creativity. He had many lovers, but only Lisa Treo, Margarita Legrand and Alina Sharigo became muses for him for many years.

Auguste Renoir. Young woman in a boat, 1870

Renoir was called the singer of the joy of life. He said: “For me, a picture … should always be pleasant, joyful and beautiful, yes - beautiful! There are enough boring things in life … I know it's hard to get the acceptance that great art can be joyful."

Auguste Renoir. Left - Lisa with an umbrella, 1867. Right - Woman with a parrot, 1871 Auguste Renoir. Odalisque (Algerian woman), 1870

For 7 years, Renoir's muse was Lisa Treo. They met when the girl was 18 years old, and the artist was 24 years old. He portrayed her in the paintings Lisa with an umbrella, Summer, Lady in a boat, Woman with a parrot, Odalisque and others (about 20 works in total). The initiator of their breakup was Lisa after Pierre Auguste refused to marry her, even after he was adopted at her parents' house as a son-in-law.

Auguste Renoir. Left - Ball at the Moulin de la Galette, 1876. Fragment. Right - A Cup of Chocolate, 1878

Throughout the summer of 1876, Renoir worked on the painting Ball at the Moulin de la Galette. Following his habit, he depicted on the canvas not professional sitters, but his friends and acquaintances. On the left side of the picture is a dancing girl. In this image, the artist immortalized his young muse - 16-year-old seamstress Marguerite Legrand, who was nicknamed Little Margot in Montmartre.

Auguste Renoir. Ball at the Moulin de la Galette, 1876

The artist met her in 1875. Margot became his lover and muse for 4 years. He was not embarrassed by the fact that acquaintances characterized her as a cheeky street girl who made acquaintance with suspicious personalities. He liked her lively disposition and unrestrained gaiety. She posed for such films as "The Swing", "The Girl in the Boat", "After the Concert" and "A Cup of Chocolate". And in 1879 she died of smallpox. For Renoir, this was a great shock.

Auguste Renoir. Madame Renoir with a dog, 1880

The actress Jeanne Samary, whose portraits were painted by Renoir, stated: “Renoir is not made for marriage. He is married to all the women he writes through the touch of his brush. " However, the loving artist nevertheless got married. Alina Sharigo won his heart.

Auguste Renoir. Left - Dance in the Countryside, 1882-1883. Right - In the garden, 1888

The artist was fascinated by the 20-year-old apprentice of the milliner and invited her to work with him as a model. Alina agreed, although she was far from painting: “I did not understand anything, but I liked to watch him write,” Alina later told her children. "I only knew that Auguste was created to paint like a vineyard to give wine."

Auguste Renoir. Rowers' Breakfast, 1881. Foreground: Alina playing with a dog

Renoir long resisted the feeling that arose and did not want to take it seriously. He even tried to break up with Alina and went on a trip, but on his return he still stayed with her. Their life together was surprisingly calm and happy, but he was in no hurry to get married. The wedding took place when their son was already in his fifth year. Thanks to the wisdom and patience of Alina Sharigo, their marriage turned out to be durable: for 35 years, the woman turned a blind eye to her husband's betrayal, believing that artists could not be otherwise.

Auguste Renoir. Left - Motherhood, 1886. Right - Blond Bather, 1880-1882

Alina remained by his side even when the disease confined him to a wheelchair and he could barely hold his hands in his hands. When Henri Matisse asked him why he would not give up work, if every movement brings such suffering, Renoir replied: "The pain passes, the beauty remains …".

Auguste Renoir. Conversation in a Boat (Renoir and Alina Sharigo), 1880-1881

Renoir also wrote quite famous representatives of the Parisian bohemia. Jeanne Samary in life and in painting: "tasty" portraits of Renoir, which you want to eat with a spoon

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