beauty remains


The Olympics are so inspiring.  I watch hoping everyone wins a gold and praying no one gets hurt! 

I'm typically more inspired by artists and designers, after taking so may art and art history classes that's not really a surprise.  Even with all those classes it seemed we were always learning about the art and style and trying to remember the year the art was created vs. the artist and their story.  It's only as I've gotten out of school that I've had the chance to learn about the artists behind the art.

Do you know who painted this? 

Okay, how about this one?

Both paintings, A Girl with a Watering Can and Luncheon of the Boating Party are the work of Pierre- Auguste Renoir.  Renoir mostly painted in the Impressionist style, his work was often criticized for being too sweet and too decorative. 

I do think his work is sweet, all of his figures are depicted in a way that seems to reflect that the artist cares about them and sees them as beautiful.  Renoir painted lots of women and children and people dancing and enjoying themselves.

Here are a few more of his well known pieces...


Dance at Bougival

Le Moulin de la Galette


Porträt der Frau Charpentier und ihre Kinder

I love that one, I just think the girls and the dog are so sweet.:) 

Anyway, the whole point of bringing up Renoir is that I learned a very interesting fact about him from my Mom this weekend- later in life Renoir was basically crippled by arthritis but he still continued to paint even though he literally could not pick up a brush, he needed someone to put the brush in his hand. 

Renoir's son, Jean, wrote in his book:

His hands were terribly deformed. His rheumatism had made the joints stiff and caused the thumbs to turn inward towards the palms, and his fingers to bend towards the wrists. Visitors who were unprepared for this could not take their eyes off his deformity. Though they did not dare to mention it, their reaction would be expressed by some such phrase as “It isn’t possible! With hands like that, how can he paint those pictures? There’s some mystery somewhere.”

I'm sure it would have been easier for Renoir to just give up and quit painting once he could no longer hold a paint brush but he continued on, doing what he loved. 

Here is a video of Renoir painting, well he is mostly smoking- I'm not sure how he got anything done at that pace but...


At one point Henri Matisse asked Renoir how he could paint when in so much pain and his response was-

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

What a nice reminder when things get hard.

Have a great Monday!