Renoir, My Father cover
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Offer summary:
(20% off)
Publication date:
September 30, 2001
NYRB Classics
International Literature, Visual & Performing Arts, Biography & Memoir

In this delightful memoir, Jean Renoir, the director of such masterpieces of the cinema as Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game, tells the life story of his father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the great Impressionist painter. Recounting Pierre-Auguste’s extraordinary career, beginning as a painter of fans and porcelain, recording the rules of thumb by which he worked, and capturing his unpretentious and wonderfully engaging talk and personality, Jean Renoir’s book is both a wonderful double portrait of father and son and, in the words of the distinguished art historian John Golding, it “remains the best account of Renoir, and, furthermore, among the most beautiful and moving biographies we have.”

Renoir, My Father includes 12 pages of color plates and 18 pages of black and white images.


The most important personal document on Renoir to appear in English is also one of the most engaging biographies ever written about an artist.
Art in America

A touching, illuminating, and very readable story of the painter’s life and work…The intelligence and sensitivity of the son, a famous film director, makes this an absorbing narrative of the artist’s struggles.

The filmmaker who conceived Rules of the Game and Grand Illusion could tell any story beautifully. When the material Jean Renoir had to work with was the life of his beloved father, Auguste Renoir, the results were magical….Vivid with the color and flavor of Auguste’s upbringing and coming-of-age as an artist in a bygone France, the book recounts the painter’s disdain of sentimentality, fashionable society, industry, and theories, and his predilection for simplicity, irregularity, and “a young girl’s skin that is pink and shows that she has a good circulation.”
— Hilarie M. Sheets, Artnews