Pierre-August Renoir (1841-1919)
As the child of a working-class family in Limoges, the young Renoir first worked as a porcelain decorator at local porcelain factories. His talent for drawing did not go unnoticed and at age 21 he went to study with Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he became friends with fellow artists such as Sisley, Bazille and Monet.
Although the portrait of his lover Lise, at the Salon of 1868, was well received by critics, it took a long time for his talent to be widely appreciated. In 1874 he took part in the famous first Impressionist exhibition where his work received relatively high praise. Three years later, he exhibited 'Bal du Moulin de la Galette' at the third Impressionist exhibition. From that point onwards he quickly gained a reputation in artistic circles in the sophisticated Paris society of the time. This enabled him to travel to Italy to study Classical and Renaissance art. In the years that followed he started distancing himself from what he experienced as the repressive world of the Parisian Impressionists.