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During the seventy-eight years of his life, Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted thousands of paintings and made uncounted drawings, watercolors, and sketches. Behind this prodigious output, rivaling even Picasso's, is a lifetime of struggle and anguish seldom hinted at in the work of this "happy painter." His efforts to find a new art to match his vision of the world created by light and warmth are vividly and intimately chronicled here through his letters and those of his friends and patrons. Barbara Ehrlich White, a renowned Renoir scholar, devoted more than twenty years to searching out unpublished letters and documents that reveal his life as an artist and as a man. First published in 1984, her book was praised for its comprehensive yet intimate history of Renoir's life and work. Now back in print, White's classic book brilliantly contrasts the story of Renoir's personal battle against crippling arthritisas well as his loss of favor with old patrons dissatisfied when he developed a new stylewith the joyous gratification of the senses that flows from his canvases. She captures both the underlying traditionalism of his training and his audacious breakthrough in style, subject, and technique. This uniquely documented tribute to Renoir, with its lavish illustrations, including three gatefoldsshy;shy;, is the essential Renoir.
Barbara Ehrlich White was a member of the Tufts University faculty from 1965–2002, where she lectured on art history. In addition to Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters, first published in 1984, White is the author of Abrams’s Impressionists Side By Side and numerous journal articles. In the course of her career, she won numerous grants and awards, and wrote several television scripts on Renoir, one of which won an Emmy.