The filmmaker Jean Renoir made a career of dismantling the beliefs of his absentee father, the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jean satirized the aristocracy and upended his father’s saccharine scenes of leisure. An exhibition now at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, looks at their relationship. The Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir rarely spent time with his second son, Jean. Whenever Pierre-Auguste was around the house, he demanded to be called patron—“the boss”—rather than the more typical papa, and Jean grew to view him more as a boarding school headmaster than as a father. As for the actual parenting, that was mostly left to the family’s nanny, Gabrielle Renard. Renard, who was only sixteen when she moved into the Renoirs’ home in Paris, spent years with Jean—taking him to the movies and to puppet shows, playing with toys and strolling the winding streets of Montmartre and the seaside in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Pierre-Auguste moved the family. Ultimately, Renard became one of the central influences on Jean’s filmmaking career: where his father’s paintings often portrayed their French aristocratic class in an earnest, …
Egon Schiele, whose centenary is being celebrated at museums across the world, presents a unique lens through which to think about the line between art and exploitation.
Is it only within the context of romantic unrest that the best art can be made?
On the artist Gabriele Münter and freeing her from the shadow of Wassily Kandinsky.
For my new monthly column for The Paris Review, I will travel across Europe—from Copenhagen to Dublin to Berlin to London—searching out essential artworks and exhibitions that speak to a wider cultural context, such as our desire for wanderlust or the complexities of artistic romances. In this first segment, I explore the complicated burden placed upon the lovers, close friends, and heirs of famous artists after they die.
On the link between insanity and creativity and how the art of turn-of-the-century mentally ill asylum patients became the basis of contemporary art, from Duchamp to Twombly to Cattelan.