21 April, 2021

Spyglass On The Theatre Box

Renoir, and his delicately florid canvases of people at work, play or in repose, are put in their densely striated socio-political context

Spyglass On The Theatre Box

This is no mere portrait of the artist. It’s more the artist as landscape, a canvas filled with detail. Or rather, as a journey...a lingering passage through the life and times—and art-making—of Renoir, one of the pioneering Imp­ressionists. It’s at multiple levels that the book seeks to capture the spirit and nature of the artist, so the revelations also vary in kind—like light split through a prism. There’s the interior landscape, the complex layers of his personality, which are entangled with and set against the context—elements that belong to society and economy and condition all individuals. You see Renoir coming of age before the Belle Epoque and later his efforts to overc­ome his physical disabilities—the progressive paralysis of fingers from rhe­umatoid arthritis—and how he found beauty and joy through the cou­rage to understand and accept the obscurities of life, desire, destiny and chance.

A thread that knits the Renoir biography is the tenacity and intimate INS­ight of an artisan that he...

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