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The life and work of this highly celebrated Impressionist painter is depicted on video for the first time. The artistry that has defined the beauty of an era is expressed as a video poem. Eloquent narration and ingenious montage techniques combine in bringing to life Renoir's most cherished and memorable works.
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Painter naturally features a great many of Renoir's paintings in this lively overview of the French Impressionist's life. Vintage postcards of various locations in France provide a visual look at where he lived and worked. The painter's entire life is covered, from his days as a struggling artist comfortable at finding models in any social strata to his long years as a family man whose contentment was disrupted by seriously declining health. The narration offers quotes from Renoir explaining his thoughts on painting, and specific characters who appear in his paintings, including his future wife, are noted. In time, his children and family maids were his models, and when they left the house, Renoir amused himself by painting bouquets of flowers. Renoir's nudes, now considered masterpieces, were not always well received by the critics of his time, and the controversies around specific paintings are discussed. While the narration explains Renoir's love of painting nudes, modern color film of a woman posing nude, which may strike some viewers as extraneous, is featured. This documentary is fairly brief and is by no means a definitive treatment of Renoir, but it does provide an entertaining introduction to the life and work of a great artist. --Robert J. McNamara
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