The Easel

Renoir the sensualist, and the pleasures of paint

Some call Renoir a ravishing colourist. More often, critics praise is sparing. This writer says of one work “it has little to tell, and everything to show.” Renoir’s sin – “lush, gorgeous escapism”. At a time of wrenching social change he focused on “the pleasures of color and light, flesh and form.” An excuse, of sorts, is offered up – Renoir was simply an artist for whom “subject was secondary, and painting was all”.