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The Best Places to See Renoir's Art

Picture of Lena Blos
Lena Blos
Updated: 5 January 2016
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the most significant French impressionist painters and has created some of the finest masterpieces in the history of art. Particularly impressive were Renoir’s depictions of beauty and the sensuality of the female body with his figures softly fusing with their surroundings Having created several thousand paintings, there are numerous places to inspect his art. We have found the best museums and galleries to gain insight into his artistic genius.

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

The National Gallery of Art was established in 1927 and is home to one of the finest art collections in the world. The exhibitions range from the Middle Ages to modernity and include drawings, prints, sculptures, medals and decorative arts. The gallery’s west wing has recently undergone extensive renovation and houses an extensive collection of impressionist pieces by Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Renoir. It offers a total of 48 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and houses some of his most significant works such as Girl with a Watering Can (1876), Pont Neuf, Paris (1872), Mademoiselle Sicot (1865) and Diana (1867). Visitors can gain further insight into the artist’s development through numerous drawings and sculptures. The National Gallery of Arts is one of the most important places to marvel at impressionist art and an excellent way to get closer to Renoir.

Address: 6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565, United States, +1 202-737-4215

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

The Musée d’Orsay, with its scenic location on the banks of the Seine, is one of France’s most renowned galleries and has been exhibiting mainly French art from the late 19th and early 20th century with pieces by Monet, Degas, Sisley, Van Gogh and Renoir. The building itself is a work of art and formerly housed a Beaux-Arts railway station. Here visitors can marvel at the dazzling beauty of Bal du moulin de la Galette, one of Renoir’s key works completed in 1876. The painting shows how working class Parisians would dress up on a Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. Additionally the museum possesses over 60 other paintings by the impressionist artist.

Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 40 49 48 14

The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C

The Phillips Collection was founded by Duncan and Marjorie Acker Phillips and feature artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Braque, Dove and van Gogh. Opened in 1921, America’s first museum of modern art sets the scene for nearly 3000 works by American and European impressionist as well as modern artists. Perhaps its most significant piece is the Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) which depicts the idyllic atmosphere in which Renoir’s friends get together over food and wine on a balcony of the Maison Fournaise restaurant, overlooking the Seine. The painting is an intriguing reflection of the changes in French society with the restaurant opening its doors to all sorts of classes from businessmen to society women, artists, shop girls and actresses. Renoir managed to maintain ‘the freshness of his vision’ and created one of the most magnificent works of art. The Phillips Collection itself is widely regarded one of the best private collections in the world.

Address: 1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States, +1 202-387-2151

Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

The Barnes Foundation is one of America’s most significant educational art and horticultural institutions and is in possession of more than 2500 works of art with around 800 paintings primarily featuring impressionist and modern artists. The new Barnes building opened its doors in 2012 and has often been described as a ‘gallery in a garden, a garden in a gallery’ due to its exceptional architectural style. The Barnes Collection offers 181 works by Renoir, 69 Cézannes and 59 Matisses as well as pieces by Degas, Titian, Prendergast and Seurat. The exhibitions have been masterfully arranged and completed by artefacts and furniture. Notable holdings by Renoir are among other Jeune garçon sur la plage d’Ypor (1883), Les baigneuses (1918) and Noirmoutier (1892).

Address: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States, +1 215-278-7200

Musée Renoir

The Musée Renoir can be found in Cagnes-sur-Mer only 30 minutes away from Nice and is situated in the artist’s family home. Surrounded by century-old olive trees and a dazzling view as far as the Cap d’Antibes, the museum allows an intimate experience of Renoir’s life. Visitors are even able to walk into his studio in order to inspect the brushes and colours that were last on the artist’s pallet. Renoir spent the last 12 years of his life in this idyllic atmosphere where he spent his time filling the house with sculptures, paintings, photographs and other personal objects. The museum’s collection features 14 paintings and numerous sculptures next to informative insights into his life. Renoir’s home seems as if it has been preserved in a time-capsule and as if the artist has just quickly stepped outside to return any minute and pick up his work again.

Address: 19 Chemin des Collettes, 06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, +33 4 93 20 61 07

 

By Lena Blos