The Easel

Why was Renoir so fascinated by flesh?

More mixed press for Renoir. Tiring of the limitations of Impressionist spontaneity, his later work was more classical in style. It is this period of Renoir’s work that attracts criticism – sentimentality, pandering to his bourgeois clients, voyeurism. But the writer mounts a rearguard defence. For Renoir, flesh was a “site of painterly experimentation”, inspired partly by the intimacy of his own family life. A video (2 min) is here.