Renoir used volume and texture to conjure intimacyâ€”from social intimacy among family and friends, to the erotic
The filmmaker Jean Renoir, son of Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, described how his father â€œlooked at flowers, women and clouds in the sky as other men touch and caress.â€ Impressionism is generally conceived of as purely visual, an optical exploration of light-dappled surfaces and shifting colors. Renoir: Intimacy instead focuses on the central role of tactile sensations in Renoirâ€™s canvases.
In all the different phases of his long career, working in a variety of genres (including group scenes, portraits, nudes, still lifes and landscapes), Renoir powerfully evoked the sense of touch. Renoir: Intimacy reveals the ways Renoir made use of the tactile qualities of volume, material and texture as a vehicle to depict intimacy in its different formsâ€”from social intimacy among family and friends, to the eroticâ€”and how that imagery is viscerally connected to the sensuality of the artistâ€™s brushstroke and the physical surfaces of his paintings. Published to accompany an exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, this gorgeous volume includes more than 75 works by the artist, loaned from museums and private collections worldwide.