Renoir exhibition in Paris highlights later works

Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:47pm EDT
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By James Mackenzie

PARIS (Reuters) - A major exhibition on Renoir opening in Paris this week aims to bring a new perspective to the later works of the French master as his art evolved from the sun-dappled Impressionist style that made his name.

"Renoir in the 20th century," shows the artist as he focused increasingly on figure studies, notably massive female nudes that echoed both earlier painters like Titian and Rubens as well as a new generation including Pablo Picasso.

"The aim of the exhibition is to take a new look at the later period of Renoir, which is not very well appreciated but which is an integral part of his art," said Sophie Patry, chief curator of the exhibition.

"Renoir himself said he would have been incomplete as an artist if he had died at 50," she said.

The exhibition, expected to be a highlight of the Paris autumn cultural season, opens at the Grand Palais on September 23 and runs until January 4, before transferring to Los Angeles and Philadelphia in the United States.

It features many works in private hands around the world that are rarely shown and is the first comprehensive exhibition of the works of Renoir's later period since 1934.

Pierre Auguste Renoir was born in 1841 and together with others like Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Paul Cezanne, was a founder of the Impressionist style in the 1870s that transformed the treatment of light and form in European painting.

PASSION AND PAIN   Continued...

<p>A bronze bust of French impressionist artist Auguste Renoir is seen next to an self-portrait during a media preview at the Grand Palais in Paris September 21, 2009. REUTERS/Gareth Watkins</p>