Some years ago I was on holiday in Cagnes-sur-Mer in southern France. It was an interesting stay in many ways. One day out and about I found myself standing outside the former home of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Call me ignorant, but didn’t actually have a clue he once upon a time had a home there. Naturally I had to go and explore. A fine home he had Renoir, in a fine part of France. I ventured around the garden and inside his abode (now a museum). Took plenty of photographs. I enjoyed that visit. A few years later my external hard drive collapsed and the photos were no more. As painful as that was, I still vividly recalled my visit when reading about Taschen’s release of ‘Renoir, 40th Ed‘, a book comprising 488 pages of informative text and wonderful photographs of his art.
“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.”
I couldn’t possibly agree more with this statement. As a matter of fact, I imply the essence of this very message to people around me every day. As good excuse to blog about wonderful gardens if nothing else.
Written by Gilles Néret, the 40th Edition in the title of this book refers to the publisher Taschen, in connection with its 40th birthday, releasing new editions of “the stars” in their catalogue. I presume this is one. The book examines the personal history and motivation behind Renoir. Though he began by painting landscapes in the Impressionist style, Renoir found his true affinity in portraits. Great idea I reckon. Landscapes are fine, but in my opinion portraits add a different dimension. Or rather, people in stunning landscapes paint such a fabulous picture of a moment in time.