Happy Birthday, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

On this day in 1841, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was brought into the world. And on this day in 1913, while he was celebrating his 72nd birthday, four of his paintings were hanging in the now-historic Armory Show in New York. What better benchmark for the end of a long, prosperous career than the revolutionary fair, especially for an artist known to enjoy a bit of controversy? Renoir had been included in the Salon des Refusés—the show of the refused ones—that exhibited artists rebelling against traditional style and strived to create work that would whisk the viewer away. “The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away,” he once said. “It is the means by which the artist conveys his passions; it is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.”

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