Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) is now universally acclaimed: museums pride themselves on his paintings, crowds flock to his retrospectives. His work shows art at its most light-hearted, sensual and luminous. Renoir never wanted anything ugly in his paintings, nor any dramatic action. "I like pictures which make me want to wander through them when it's a landscape," he said, "or pass my hand over breast or back if it's a woman."
Renoir's entire oeuvre is dominated by the depiction of women. Again and again he painted "these faunesses with their pouting lips" (Mallarmé) and invented a new image of feminity.
Renoir is part of the Taschen Basic Art series. Each art book in this series of art history books gives a detailed chronological summary of the artist's life and work, covering the cultural and historical importance of the artist. Each art book contains approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions and a concise biography of the artist.