Until January 2010, the Gran Palais is hosting an exhibition about the last and least known period of the French artist, a period when he allowed himself to shake off some of the constraints of Impressionism.
Under the title Renoir in the Twentieth Century, the Grand Palais in Paris has brought together around a hundred paintings, drawings, sculptures and other lesser known works of Renoir (1814 - 1919). Some of the nudes, typical of the new period that the French master embarked on at the end of the nineteenth century, as well as some of the portraits, show clear evidence of him leaving behind the Impressionist style that had made him internationally famous.
Although recognised as a figurehead of the Impressionist movement, Renoir was also admired for his ability to question techniques and styles and for the inspiration he took from such Masters as Titian and Velazquez. Decades later, he, too, was to influence such greats as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Maillol, a fact that is clearly demonstrated by the juxtaposition of works of these artists in the exhibition.
The display, organised into 15 sections, is supported by documentaries and photographs of the artist together with his family, his friends and the artist's model of the period, Gabrielle, who originally started work as the family nanny. There are also drawings and fabric designs, from this, the artist's final and least known period when he even turned his hand to sculpture for the first time.
This touring exhibition is organised by the French National Museums, including the Orsay Museum, which include some really exquisite works by Renoir as well as by other Impressionists. The exhibition will transfer to Los Angeles in February where it will remain until May, after which it will be on display in Philadelphia from June until September of 2010.