Pierre Auguste Renoir was born in 1841 in Limoges, France, but moved to Paris with his family when he was 13. His first paintings were flowers in China, as part of his work in a local porcelain factory. In 1860 he studied under Charles Gleyre where he met Alfred Sisley, Frederic Bazille, and Claude Monet, a fellow student. He studied at the Louvre and then attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
In the 1870s Renoir’s Impressionist technique reached its peak, with glorious paintings such as Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise (The Rowers’ Lunch), Dance in the Country, Dance at Bougival, and Gabrielle and Jean.
Two of Pierre Auguste Renoir’s most famous from that period were The Swing and Bal at the Moulin de la Galette, a wonderful composition of many of his friends and Montmartre girls. His fully defined technique rendered facial expressions and movements masterfully. Renoir often used his friends and acquaintances such as fellow artists and writers. He spent weeks and sometimes months perfecting his paintings.
In 1890 Renoir married Aline Charigot. He painted his new bride and several of their friends in the Luncheon of the Boating Party, a masterpiece on which he spent many months.
Beginning in the 1880’s Renoir became more interested in classical art and female nudes. The Bathers, a series of paintings of nude female figures, were completed in 1887. They depicted feminine grace superbly, with an excellent portrayal of pearly textured and soft female skin.