Renoir and the half life of Impressionism
This article sets out to examine some of the traditional components of Renoir's practice as a painter. Modernist views of nineteenth century art history have long clouded our vision of many aspects of artistic practice in the nineteenth century. Renoir's painting, this article demonstrates, was rooted within artisan practices of the early nineteenth century in such crafts as porcelain painting and decoration. Renoir, like many of his peers, turned his hand to painting in all of its forms and declined to identify himself with a partisan movement. An examination in this hitherto unexplored realm of nineteenth century French visual culture and history offers an insight into Renoir's painting that points backwards to many forgotten traditions of the past.