Renoir Oral Histories

The Pierre-Auguste Renoir Oral History Series explores Renoir’s historical and artistic legacies. Oral histories with Sophie Renoir and Paul Louis Durand-Ruel, respectively the great-granddaughter of Renoir and the great-grandson of Paul Durand-Ruel, Renoir’s art dealer, allow us to better understand the world of the Impressionists and how their descendants are tasked with the stewardship of their legacies. Focusing on the collaborative relationship between Renoir and Durand-Ruel, this series offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the experience of compiling Renoir’s catalogue raisonné, examining paintings on the Renoir Committee, and advocating for the contemporary importance of the Impressionist movement. 

Paul Louis Durand-Ruel

Paul Louis Durand-Ruel is the great-grandson of Paul Durand-Ruel, the art dealer of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other Impressionist legends. He has written and lectured on Paul Durand-Ruel’s important influence on the Impressionist movement, and co-edited the memoirs of Paul Durand-Ruel with his niece, Flavie. His oral history sheds light on the creative relationship between Renoir and Durand-Ruel and how an artist—and their dealer—might find ways to actively shape their future legacy during their living years. 

KEYWORDS: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Durand-Ruel, art dealers, artistic legacies, Impressionist art, Impressionism, archives, art restoration, provenance, catalogue raisonnés, art galleries, forgeries, portraits

Sophie Renoir

Sophie Renoir is the great-granddaughter of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a contemporary scholar and advocate for his work. Following in the footsteps of her family’s cinematic traditions—her father, cinematographer Claude Renoir, and uncle, director Jean Renoir—she is an acclaimed French film and television actress. Highlights from her oral history include discussions of childhood memories from the Renoir family home in Essoyes, responsibilities of maintaining a family’s artistic legacy, and ways she connects personally with Renoir’s paintings today.  

KEYWORDS: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Impressionism, Impressionist art, Claude Renoir, Jean Renoir, Pierre Renoir, Essoyes, art museums, droit moral, Renoir Committee, La vague, La loge, Eric Rohmer, digital art history, catalogue raisonnés, classic cinema

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