He was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, and was the child of a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory and was given the opportunity to paint designs on fine china because of his drawing talent.
Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans. During those early years, he often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.
Renoir experienced his initial acclaim in 1874 when six of his paintings were hung in the first Impressionist exhibition. In the same year, two of his works were shown in London with Durand-Ruel.
In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey where he created fifteen paintings in a little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin's, Guernsey. Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, and it has a varied landscape that includes cliffs, bays, and beaches.
In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot. After his marriage, Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and their nurse, Aline's cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three sons.
Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1907, he moved to the warmer climate of "Les Collettes," a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, close to the Mediterranean coast. Renoir painted during the last twenty years of his life even when he was wheelchair-bound and arthritis severely limited his movement.
He developed progressive deformities in his hands and ankylosis of his right shoulder, requiring him to change his painting technique. It has often been reported that in the advanced stages of his arthritis, he painted by having a brush strapped to his paralyzed fingers, but this is erroneous; Renoir was able to grasp a brush, although he required an assistant to place it in his hand. The wrapping of his hands with bandages, apparent in late photographs of the artist, was to prevent skin irritation.
In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with those of the old masters. He died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, on December 3, 1919.
Below are six paintings that Renoir created that Sophia and Olivia looked at for a while and then orally recalled the details that they remembered.
The Umbrellas, painted in two phases in the 1880s
=> In the picture, the sky is a blue with grayish clouds covering most of it.
=> There are a lot of people walking on what appears to be a busy street.
=> The majority of people have blue umbrellas that look the same.
=> At the front of the picture, there was a woman wearing a blue dress and has a brown basket on the crook of her arm. She has red hair and a kind of far-away expression.
=> Behind her and to the right is another woman who looks a little bit older and has a fancy blue dress and hat. She is reaching down as if to take the hand of a girl wearing a blue coat, little hat, and black boots. She is holding a hoop and stick.
=> Behind her is a girl who is a little bit older who has her hands on the younger girl's shoulders. She has reddish hair, a blue coat, and black boots.
=> Behind the fancy lady there is another woman who has closed her umbrella and is looking up at the sky.
=> Behind the lady with the basket is a man with blue pants and a blue handkerchief who appears to be looking down the street.
=> Almost all the people have at least two blue things.
=> Nobody is smiling, but they don't look sad. They all kind of have expressionless faces.
=> The main color in the picture is mainly blue.
=> The women are wearing all blue outfits - blue coats, blue dresses.
=> There's a woman who is holding an umbrella in her right hand and a baby in her left hand.
=> The child is a carrying in her left hand a wooden hoop and stick.
=> There's a woman in front of them and she is holding a basket in her hand.
=> Almost all of the people are carrying umbrellas and they are blue. Almost all of them look the same.
=> There's a tree in the background - you can only see the top - and the colors in the tree are blue, bit of a yellowish-greenish color, dark green, and an olive green. You can see a bit of white along with some brown.
=> The people aren't smiling in the picture.
=> There were some men in the picture. One is putting down his umbrella or folding it up. The other one is kind of walking straight.
=> There's another child in the picture. I think it's the oldest sister of the other one.
=> They are outside - it is a dark cloudy gray.
Two Girls at the Piano, 1888
=> The color of the picture is mostly red accented with other colors.
=> There are two ladies in the picture. One of them is sitting on a stool trying to play the piano. She appears to have some trouble doing it, so the older sister-mother is standing on her left-hand side with her right hand on the back and her left hand ready to flip the page of her music.
=> They are both wearing red dresses. The older lady has a black collar, black around the end of her sleeves, and a black hem around her dress. Her red hair is pulled up in a bun.
=> The younger girl has a black collar, black at the bottom of her sleeves, and a black band around her upper arm. She also has a black sash that goes around her waist. Her red hair is pulled back with a red ribbon and it is hanging down her back.
=> She is staring at her music rather near-sightedly.
=> The piano is a brown color and looks rather old. It has on the right hand side a candlestick built into it so she can see what she is doing even at night.
=> On top of the piano there is a vase of flowers. To the left of that, it appears to be sheets of music.
=> The walls are red flecked with orange and yellow. There is nothing on them.
=> The girl is sitting on a fancy brown stool that has quite a few legs.
=> In the picture there is a piano and two women and the woman and the girl are both wearing red dresses.
=> The girl is sitting on a stool that has four legs and has a thing that can rotate it to make it higher or taller.
=> The piano keys on the edge look yellowish to show that it is kind of old.
=> Attached to the piano is a gold thing that has a candlestick in it.
=> On top of the piano is piano books and a vase with flowers that are red, white, and yellow.
=> The wall behind it is a light color that has a rusted reddish color with polka dots on it.
=> The wall next to it is red with orange and yellow mixed in it.
=> The girl's hair is in a ponytail that has a bow in it. It is hanging down her back.
=> The woman has her hand on the sheet music and it looks like she is going to flip the page. Her other hand is on the girl's back and it looks like she is making her sit up taller since she looks like she is slouching.
=> The girl's foot appears to be on a pedal or one of the pedals.
=> The woman's dress has a fancy black collar and black rings on her sleeve - or a band at the end of the sleeve. At the hem of her dress it looks like there is some kind of black fluffy thing like lace.
=> The girl has kind of the same outfit except her sash is a bow that has ribbons hanging down the front. She has fluffy little things that poof out at her shoulders, and she has two black bands on her sleeve - one at the top and one at the bottom.
=> There is a room with purple walls and a wooden floor flecked with different colors.
=> There is a whit-ish couch with pictures of flowers, birds, and leaves.
=> The couch has two big cushions propped up and one on the floor as a foot rest.
=> Sitting on the couch with her feet slightly propped up is a woman - not very young but not old enough to have white hair. She has long, black hair that's tied back with a black ribbon and a pink flower in her hair.
=> She is wearing a blue dress with a vest/jacket over it that goes down to about four inches above the hem.
=> To hold the rest together is a white ribbons that reaches underneath her throat.
=> She has pink pink-reddish lips and dark eyes that are toward downward engrossed in a book.
=> Her feet appear smaller than her body and appear dainty propped up on the pillow.
=> On the bottom of the couch there are ruffles all around it to make it look fancier.
=> Up on the wall behind her and a little to her right are three large glass leaves that are painted red, gold, and a little bit of orange and brown.
=> On the left-hand side of the painting are the letters "A. Renoir" which are the painter's initials.
=> There is a white or cream colored couch with flowers and a bird on it. There are two cushions. On one of the cushions you can see the bird. The other cushion you can't see it because the woman in the picture has her back to it.
=> There's another cushion that's under her feet that's like a foot rest.
=> Behind her to the left side or corner of the picture, there are three decorative fans which both have different colors on it: gold, green, brownish, and red.
=> The woman is wearing a blue dress that has these flower or lacy designs on it.
=> She is holding a book and she seems very focused on the book.
=> Her hair is black and it appears to be in a ponytail. It looks like something that men would have worn back then.
=> You can't really see her face since it is bent down over the book.
=> Her feet are very, very small for her body. She is wearing tiny black shoes.
=> The walls are the same blue as her dress. They are just plain blue walls.
=> There is a forest with a paved path. Further down the path are four women - two with brown hair, one black, and one blonde hair - all dressed up kind of fancy.
=> A little ways in front of them are four more people - two men, a woman, and little girl.
=> On the left hand side of the painting there is a big tree that a man with a tan hat and brown beard is leaning against. He's looking a tanother man with a tan hat, blue coat, and black boots that is talking to a woman with reddish hair that's pulled up on top of her head.
=> She is wearing a dark blue skirt and on top of that skirt is a white dress with blue bows all down the front and one on either side holding up the white skirt so you can see the blue skirt.
=> She is wearing a necklace that is made out of some type of black material with a charm hanging from it.
=> behind the man in the blue coat and black boots leaning on the tree is a girl with blondish curls, black shoes, blueish white socks, and a little blue dress.
=> You can't see the sky in the picture and there are trees all around the path in the picture.
=> It appears to be some time in the fall because there are leaves all on the ground. But people aren't wearing coats so it must be early in the fall.
=> There are eight people in the picture. One of them is a child who is waiting for a turn to go on the swing.
=> The woman by the swing appears to be stepping on top of the swing.
=> There are two men. One appears to be talking to the woman and the other man.
=> One of the men is leaning against the tree.
=> There are some other people off to the side that appear to be talking.
=> The shadows of the trees near the base appear to be blue.
=> The woman that is standing or stepping on the swing is wearing a white dress with blue bows on the front.
=> You can't see the sky.
=> The ground just has shadows on it because of the trees that are blue-ish and black-ish.
=> The hair of the people that you can see is brown and dark brown.
=> One of the men who is leaning against the tree and the child is wearing a hat.
=> This room has a lot of different things and lots of colors in it.
=> The wall is a brownish flecked with different colors and has two red strips running floor to ceiling.
=> On the left hand side of the wall are two black peacocks, and one of them has its tail all out. Very pretty!
=> On the right hand side next to the other chair that's checkered.
=> In front of that is a jar of flowers in different colors, a little jar of wine, and a cup and plate of grapes.
=> Next to the table is a small couch. The couch is a reddish color that has flowers all over it.
=> Sitting on the couch are two people - one is a woman with very short brown hair that is slightly curled. She is wearing a lot of jewelry - bracelets on both arms, earrings, and rings.
=> She is wearing a long black dress with white lace trim. The top of the dress is collected at the top like a cape and a ribbon. The top of her dress is scalloped a bit, and instead of showing her skin there's a camisole so you don't see any of her chest.
=> Her eyes are far away and her lips are slightly pursed.
=> Sitting next to her is a girl with blond hair, black shoes, and a little blue dress. The dress is light blue with lace on the front and little blue buttons. At the shoulders is more lace that falls down almost like a cape.
=> The girl is looking at who appears to be her sister.
=> There is a dog on the floor next to the couch that is black and white. His eyes are half closed. He has a black collar with gold dots. Sitting on him is another girl - slightly older than the first with reddish-blonde hair and dressed in the same shoes and same blue dress.
=> The floor is wooden but most is obscured by a red rug with a yellow square on the outside and sa smaller one on the inside.
=> There is a woman and two children and a dog.
=> The walls have some red stripes on them but the rest looks like it is wood. It looks like they have painted over the wood.
=> One section of the wood wall has two black peacocks and another section of the wood wall has a big white peacock with its tail all out.
=> The floor is wood, but it half covered with reddish-brownish and yellow rug. It has red and brown flowers on it.
=> On the rug there is a table and chair...a lawn table and lawn chair.
=> The table has a china vase with red and white flowers.
=> There is a silver jug that is either filled with water or wine, and a silver cup. There also is a china plate with green grapes on it.
=> There is a couch that is the same color as the walls with different color flowers on it.
=> There is a woman in a black gown sitting on a couch with a young child.
=> The child has blondish-brownish hair and is wearing a white and blue dress. The white is lace on the dress on the front with little blue buttons; and around her shoulders it goes down and looks like a cape.
=> By the child there is a dog - a black and white dog - with a black collar with gold dots.
=> On top of the dog is another girl who kind of looks like the girl on the couch, and she's wearing the exact same outfit.
=> The dog does not look happy because the child is sitting on top of him.
=> The woman has a gold broach on her dress and she has some gold bracelets on her right arm and a few gold rings on her right hand as well.
=> In the left hand it appears that she is holding something gold.
=> There is a room with blue paneled walls and on the right wall there is a window that looks out onto green grass and some trees.
=> On the window sill, is a kind of large pot that has red flowers and a basket with some brightly-colored things in it.
=> Next to the window is a brown table with feet like a piano's so you can it. It has a brightly-colored tablecloth with different patterns - squares, triangles...
=> Sitting next to the table on a brown chair with a blue-ish green cushion is a lady with long brown hair pulled back into a braid with a red ribbon. She is wearing a white dress with red dots all over it.
=> She has black shoes and dark red socks.
=> She is embroidering something with black thread on a white dish towel.
=> Standing in front of her is a little girl with blondish-brown hair and is wearing black shoes, black socks, blue dress, and what looks like an almost white pinafore.
=> The bottom of her dress has a little bit of lace that goes around it.
=> She has placed a doll on the lady's lap.
=> The doll appears to be porcelain and has black shoes with brown soles and is wearing a white dress. She has a brown hat and a red ribbon around it.
=> Behind the little girl is a couch. The top of the couch is white and the cushion part is black stripes with blue and green getting lighter and darker.
=> Sitting on the couch is an older girl with slightly curly hair that the same brownish-gold color hair as the little girl, except a little darker. She is wearing black shoes, black socks, blue and white checkered skirt, and a dark blue shirt with three-quarter sleeves.
=> She is engrossed in a book she is reading.
=> The floor is brown with flecks of color that kind of look like the veins of a leaf.
=> The window has curtains around it that are tied back with a frilly piece of fabric.
=> The drapes are brown, red, and an assortment of different colors.
=> Renoir painted it so it looks like the room is divided into light and dark.
=> The girl sitting on the couch is in the darker area filled with blues and blacks. The woman and little girl seem to be standing in the lighter area filled with the browns, the reds, and the golds.
=> I really like this picture because it has depth.
=> There is a woman and two children. The woman is sitting on a wood chair on a blue cushion, and by the side of her there is a table.
=> On top of the table there is a basket with a bow around it. Also on the table there is a pot that has legs that has some red flowers.
=> Above the table there is a window that looks out where you can see a forest of trees.
=> In the woman's lap there is a doll. The child is holding the doll so it doesn't fall out of her lap.
=> The woman appears to be holding an outfit for the doll.
=> The girl is wearing a blue dress with white buttons and lace on it. It looks a bit like a sailor outfit.
=> Behind the girl there is a blue couch with dark blue stripes all over it.
=> On the couch there is the other girl. The girl looks a bit older and looks haughty...not very nice.
=> She is wearing a skirt with checkers on it. She is wearing a dark blue shirt.
=> The woman is wearing a white dress with reddish-orange-ish dots on it and a red ribbon around her waist.
=> The woman and the two children have their hair up in ribbons.
=> The woman is wearing red socks with black shoes.
=> The two girls both have black shoes. The younger one has dark blue socks and the older one has black socks.