A leader in the development of Impressionism, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, France on the 25th of February 1841. As a boy he painted decorations on fine china or on fans before he went to Paris to study art under Swiss artist, Charles Gleyre.
His work was first exhibited in 1864, although he did not enjoy much success until ten years later when six of his paintings were displayed in the first Impressionist exhibition. He spent some time travelling Europe where he was influenced by the works of Titian and Raphael. He also met the composer Richard Wagner, whose portrait he is said to have painted in a little over half an hour!
In 1890 Renoir married his model Aline Victorine Charigot, with whom he already had a child. Then in 1892 the artist developed rheumatoid arthritis which would stay with him for the rest of his life.
In 1907, Renoir moved to Cagnes-sur-Mer where he had a stately home built. He continued to work despite his arthritis disfiguring his hands. He had a stroke in 1912, which confined him to a wheelchair. Not to be daunted, Renoir then experimented with sculpture.
Aline died in 1915 and Renoir followed her on December the 3rd 1919, at the age of 78.