Everyone hates Renoir?

john

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I have a photo of an outdoor nightime scene with people that I want to paint. I don't paint people. I don't know how to approach it. So I was thinking.....hey wouldn't it be nice to paint it like Renoir's Le Moulin de la Galette? Like I have a chance of doing that.

So while doing some prelim research I've come across articles such as this one.....
Why Absolutely Everyone Hates Renoir https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/why-everyone-hates-renoir/410335/

So it seems that many art critics and artists do not care for him. That he was too florid and shallow or whatever. I must say that I sort of understand, but ultimately, I just find his works pretty. Is plain old pretty so bad? I like his humanistic approach. Pretty people in pretty places doing nice things.

Should I reconsider my affection for these shallow works of fluff? I mean, I want to make it seem like I have good taste. I don't like Thomas Kinkade's paintings for similar reasons. Too sacharine etc.

So before I devote a large chunk of time in an effort to emulate Renoir I need to be sure that making a pretty picture is still OK. The last thing I need is derision from people with more culture and taste than I have. That would be worse than Covid.

So what are your guys feelings about Renoir? Will you make fun of me if a paint something Renoir-ish? Or should I try to do something more respectable? Maybe like a DeKooning woman or a Jean-Michel Basquiat ?
 
I don't think the article should have said "absolutely" everyone hates Renoir. There are many of his paintings that I like very much.
 
I think a lot of artist should take his modest quote to heart; "Painting was intended, was it not, to decorate walls.”
 
Max Geller, the leader of the Renoir Sucks at Painting group is something of a troll... just out for attention. I personally prefer Degas, Monet, and Manet among the Impressionists, but Renoir certainly painted some lovely paintings... and in some instances, created works in a genre which surpassed the others:

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This portrait of Monet's wife is quite exquisite.

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As is this one.

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This painting, Dancing at the Moulin de Galette, is deservedly one of the best-known paintings by the Impressionists.

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The same is true of the Luncheon of the Boating Party. One of Renoir's strengths was painting individuals... capturing the gestures and expressions of the people of his era. Degas may have been a better figurative artist... but he rarely paintings individuals... they are more idealized archetypes.

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Renoir's portraits of the actress Jeanne Samary are absolutely delicious.

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This early portrait of "The Bohemian" shows his ability to suggest the emotions of his sitters and to handle paint like Courbet and Manet.

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The sense of the young sitter lost in reverie or the young girl excitedly attending her first opera certainly shows Renoir's observational skills.
 
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And what of this beauty?

And while Renoir was best known for his paintings of women, he was arguably the finest painter of children of the Impressionists:

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While he might not surpass Monet, Renoir was still a fine landscape painter:



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The controversy circling Renoir really began with his nudes. This scene of Bathers is clearly more linear and sculptural in handling and earned him a reputation among some as reactionary... looking back to the French Academy. Actually, this painting would inspire future painters including Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, and even Diego Rivera as they revived Classicism after WWI.

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Monet famously took a little dig at Renoir. When asked what had happened to Renoir by another painter, Monet replied, "You need to forgive our dear Renoir; he's been seen with Parisian women." The dig was double-edged. It suggested Renoir was hanging around with the Parisian women of questionable morals... even prostitutes. But is also referred to the fact that Renoir was infamously hanging out in toe Rococo rooms of the Louvre looking at artists like Fragonard and Boucher:

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Realistically, the Rococo painters with their loose and fresh handling of paint and their preference for modest everyday subject matter were the perfect role models for all the Impressionists:

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But Renoir wasn't limited to the examples of the Rococo... he was also inspired by the painterly nudes of the Renaissance and the Baroque... especially the works of such Venetian painters as Titian:

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Renoir's and Degas' nudes stand as the link from the nudes of the old masters to those of Modernists such as Matisse, Picasso, Bonnard, Beckmann, Maillol, etc... Renoirs play of light and shadow across the flesh is delicious:

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This last painting comes straight out of Delacroix (with echoes of Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian) and points towards Matisse's North African paintings.
 
Hey, buck up John. I don't think anyone here will make fun of you, maybe at the other website, but not here.

What St. Luke has just posted should give you a good idea of the quality of response and encouragement that typifies this group of people.
 
As an artist, you should not listen to other people's silly opinions about what you'd like to paint. Inspiration is something you should follow in your heart and don't let anyone piss on it. No one will make fun of you if they have any sense. They certainly won't here. I won't let them! ;)
 
Should I reconsider my affection for these shallow works of fluff? I mean, I want to make it seem like I have good taste.

Keep this in mind:

“Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.”
-Pablo Picasso


I fully agree with Picasso. To worry about whether your ideas or your art meet someone else's concept of "good taste" is a form of self censorship... of allowing the opinions and values of others to censor your ideas and artistic efforts before they have even begun.
 
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I just find his works pretty. Is plain old pretty so bad?

Nothing wrong with "pretty" in my opinion. There are more than a few late Modern and Contemporary artists whose work I find unabashedly beautiful... even "pretty":

Bo Bartlett:

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David Ligare:

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Robert Kushner:

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Leonard Koscianski:

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Francine van Hove:

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Ikenaga Yasunari:

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Janet Fish:

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Laura Krifka:

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and Will Cotton:

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And these are but a few examples. Art is no longer dominated my a single monolithic view... if it ever was.

Beauty and sweetness are as valid as themes for art as are horror and ugliness.

I like his humanistic approach. Pretty people in pretty places doing nice things.

Should I reconsider my affection for these shallow works of fluff? I mean, I want to make it seem like I have good taste. I don't like Thomas Kinkade's paintings for similar reasons. Too sacharine etc.


We are all consciously and unconsciously impacted by the ideas and the art of others. Look more at what is out there. There is plenty that no doubt will fit into your artistic ideas.

So before I devote a large chunk of time in an effort to emulate Renoir I need to be sure that making a pretty picture is still OK. The last thing I need is derision from people with more culture and taste than I have. That would be worse than Covid.

OK according to whom? You may be surprised by how many who you deem as having "more culture and better taste" than you have no more artistic taste than you... and how many who love art that is unabashedly beautiful or even pretty. And are you pandering to their taste... or to your own?

So what are your guys feelings about Renoir? Will you make fun of me if a paint something Renoir-ish? Or should I try to do something more respectable? Maybe like a DeKooning woman or a Jean-Michel Basquiat?

Personally, I'd take one of the Renoir paintings I posted above over nearly anything by DeKooning or Basquiat?
 
I'm not fond of Basquiat but I like a good many paintings by DeKooning... but I still prefer Renoir... and Degas and Bonnard and Vuillard... :D
 
I am a real fan of Renoir. When I was a color cameraman for a lithographic company, I had the opportunity to perform color separations on a couple of Renoir's smaller works.

At the Phoenix Art Museum (back when they were still displaying REAL ART), I viewed his "Boating Party", and it appeared to have been painted yesterday! It was so bright, and fresh, and colorful, it practically jumped off the wall! Unlike the Van Gogh's that I've seen in real life, which appeared dull, and lifeless! Where the HECK does anyone get off demeaning Renoir, anyway??
 
I'm loving the responses. I'm not sure if I was being serious or not. SLG's comment about the(se) critic(s) being a troll sounds about right. What better way to get noticed than to skewer one of the world's most beloved artists.

Of course Renoir is wonderful. The light and colors seem to dance. I hope I can learn something about painting faces from Dancing at the Moulin de Galette. It seems like he built that painting with many broken brush strokes with many colors. No flat expanses of a single color anywhere. And it seems like a dry brush blending.

I found this about his technique

Although he did a lot of blending on the painting, he kept his brush clean to prevent muddying of the colors. In contrast to most other Impressionists, Renoir’s paint layers are quite thin relative to the ground layer. The influence of his teenage training as a porcelain painter is evident in his use of thin glazes, especially with luminescent red lakes over white ground. He used a palette knife at times to scrape away layers and create texture in the interstices of the canvas weave.


Yeah, imagine trying to insult an artist by saying he paints like Renoir. I would take that insult any day. :)
 
That Leonard Koscianski is magical SLG. It's pretty yes, but it also has mystery and an otherworldliness that's fascinating. It's somehow not just butterfly and orchid.
 
Well "dickheads" goes a bit far just because they don't share your opinion on a particular painter...:unsure:
Especially because we are talking about that most elusive and subjective of subjects "what is (good) art".

The only definition of that I have found to hold a bit of truth is "Whatever any individual thinks it is"..:ROFLMAO:.
 
I like Renoir very much, but I had just forgotten to review his works,
thanks for the notes, for the information, stlukersguild
beautiful .
 
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