Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style.
Born: February 25, 1841, Limoges, France
Died: December 3, 1919, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Renoir was born in Limoges in 1841 and moved to Paris in 1845. He was apprenticed as a decorator in a porcelain factory at the age of thirteen. He subsequently studied in the studio of Charles Gleyre, where he met Monet. His studies continued at the École des Beaux-Arts. Between 1867 and 1870 these two mutually inspired artists developed a style of painting using small fragmented brushstrokes, which became known as Impressionism. In later works Renoir painted more volumetric figures that were modelled against the softness of the landscape, reflecting an interest in classicism that was stimulated by his trip to Italy in 1881
Young women playing the piano was a recurring and favourite subject for Renoir. While the theme of youth and music had often been given allegorical treatment in French and Dutch art of the past, Renoir adopted the subject as an emblematic image of French bourgeois culture. The theme of cultivated innocence and domestic comfort underpinned much of the artist’s work. This fresh and lively preparatory sketch was produced in response to an official commission from the French state