Art, Art History

Rare, Perhaps Unique Film Footage of Pierre-Auguste Renoir at his Easel, ca. 1913

I have just come across this extraordinary footage of Pierre-Auguste Renoir at roughly age 72, apparently in the company of his grandson, Claude Renoir.  As is clearly visible, the great master was in the advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis, and although he could hold a brush, needed someone to place it between his fingers.

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Thanks to Nick Wallace Smith, whose youtube channel presents extraordinary original footage of great artists and personages of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as great stage performances and other films of historic importance.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Rare, Perhaps Unique Film Footage of Pierre-Auguste Renoir at his Easel, ca. 1913

  1. It was thrilling to watch this! Thanks so much for finding and posting it.

    Posted by Jan Lipert | March 30, 2012, 10:32 am
  2. Thanks, Jan. This footage sent shivers up my spine!

    Posted by elliottingotham | March 30, 2012, 11:04 am
  3. This must have been before arthritis forced Renoir to bandage the brushes to his hands…great find!

    Posted by The Physician's Palette | March 30, 2012, 6:39 pm
    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes. If indeed this film dates from 1913, the master lived for another 6 years. I cannot imagine his suffering. Clearly his passion for his art overrode his physical infirmities, and the world is a greater place for that.

      Posted by elliottingotham | March 30, 2012, 6:49 pm
  4. I’ve read of an artist who hoped he could paint in heaven. Can’t remember who said it, but it speaks volumes about the capacity of art to sustain its great practitioners through their “golden” years. I think of Cezanne, who reportedly contracted his death of a cold (literally) while painting outdoors. The footage that you’ve posted of Renoir at his easel is thrilling. Thank you!

    Posted by jmned | May 7, 2012, 3:04 pm
  5. I immediately had to share this unique historic document. Thanks to you bringing it to public.

    Posted by autographen | January 6, 2013, 7:39 am

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