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Renoir Landscapes 1865 - 1883 - National Gallery

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW exhibition, Renoir Landscapes, runs from February 21 to May 20, 2007, at London’s National Gallery.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) painted landscapes throughout his life.

However, during the first two decades of his long career they constituted an especially important area of experimentation for the artist where he explored composition, paint handling and pictorial structure in innovative new ways.

This is the first exhibition to examine this vital aspect of Renoir’s achievement, and brings together some 70 landscapes.

It begins with works of the 1860s, when the young artist was meeting and working beside the painters who would become his fellow Impressionists. These works show his remarkable ability to emulate technical and stylistic innovations and then turn them to his own uses.

In the 1870s Renoir defined his distinctive quick, silvery brushstrokes and began to explore colour and structure in order to gain an audacious painterly freedom.

In the early 1880s he travelled to the South of France, Italy and North Africa, where new intensities of sunlight and colour had a profound impact on his landscape art.

The exhibition ends in 1883 with the vibrant oils he executed on a visit to Guernsey.

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