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Art History

Renoir and Monet: Friendship and Art

The art world is often considered small and intimate, with many artists moving in the same social circles. This can sometimes lead to unexpected friendships and collaborations. This is especially prevalent within certain art movements, such as Impressionism. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were two such painters that formed a bond both on and off the canvas.

Both of these painters are considered masters of the Impressionist art movement. Their styles do have some similarities, but also reflect a difference in their personalities. Claude Monet, who founded the style, often focused on light and emotion, while Renoir chose to make the people in his works the centerpiece. Although they both used soft colors and broad brushstrokes that the movement was known for, their pieces could never be mistaken for each other.

It was not just their art that held similarities, but also circumstances in their private lives. Both Renoir and Monet were impoverished artists that found themselves in the French countryside, looking for inspiration that might gain them approval from the Paris salons. They were both passionate about their art, while barely making enough to survive with their families. They would often find themselves in the same spot, painting the same scene and through that they developed a friendship that lasted years.

During the late 1860’s, Renoir and Monet both painted lovely scenes form the rural area of Argenteuil, a suburb outside of Paris. Often they would be painting the same scene, from only slightly different angles. One of the best examples of this is the painting of La Grenouillere (The Frog Pond). This popular social spot on the water is captured by each artist in their own piece and allows the audience to see the subtle differences in technique. The two spent a great deal of time in that location, working side by side on their own canvases.

Considered equally talented in the same style of art, Renoir and Monet were able to forge a deep friendship that helped them both produce beautiful pieces during the same period. You can browse through both our Renoir gallery and our Monet gallery to compare them yourself. Perhaps you can pair their art together again in your own home.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.