Saturday, April 30, 2011

Master Artist- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the founders of the French Impressionist School of Art (the other was his friend Claude Monet). He preferred to paint people mostly (be cautioned when searching for images of his paintings as many of them are... unfortunately unclothed).

Self-portrait about 1875

Leading Idea:
Creation is the ultimate work of art, evidence of THE true Master Artist- God. Our Creator has made everything and everyone unique.

"Go and see what others have produced, but never copy anything except nature. You would be trying to enter into a temperament that is not yours and nothing that you would do would have any character." -Renoir

Biblical Principle:
The Principle of Individuality

I chose the Biblical Principle of Individuality because I wanted to focus on how everyone is unique. I then chose the Leading Idea based off of that principle because, in this lesson, I wanted us to focus on who the true Master Artist is (God is the original artist- it's one of His attributes). I thought the quote from Renoir to be fitting, it gave a broader picture of my focus, and it also gave us a spring board for words to look up in our research.

Renior was a French Impressionist. What does the word impression mean?

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Impression, n. [Fr.; L. impressio.]
3. The effect which objects produce on the mind. Thus we say, the truths of the gospel make an impression on the mind; they make no impression, or a deep lasting impression. The heart is impressed with love or gratitude. We lie open to the impressions of flattery.
4. Image in the mind; idea. 

(The next word I looked up is our Biblical Principle. This way we understand what is meant by it.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Individuality, n.
Separate or distinct existance; a state of oneness.

(I looked up temperament from Renoir's quote under the leading idea. You'll catch on that the proceeding words that I chose to look up were for more clarification of each definition thereafter.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Temperament, n. [Fr. from L. temperamentum.]
1. Constitution; state with respect to the predominance of any quality; as the temperament of the body.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Constitution, n.
3. The frame or temper of mind, affections or passions.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
affection, n.
5. Desire; inclination; propensity, good or evil; as, virtuous or vile affections. Romans i and Galations 5.

Renoir's Background:
  • He was born February 25, 1841, in Limoges, France.
  • He was raised in France.
  • He showed an exceptional talent for drawing at an early age.
  • He was painted plates as an apprentice in a porcelain factory.
  • He then worked for his older brother decorating fans.
  • Early in his life, he would frequent the Louvre to study such French masters 
  • In 1862 he entered Atelier Gleyre in order to take his painting more seriously.
  • He met Claude Monet and other French Impressionists at Atelier Gleyre.
  • In the 1860's, his works were frequently rejected.
  • The art show, The Salon, accepted one of his paintings in 1869.
  • About this time, he and others such as Claude Monet, abandoned the style of the Old Masters and started the Impressionism Period.
  • Impressionists were inspired by nature and the reality before them.
  • He used vibrant colors in place of the somber blacks and browns of the Old Masters.
  • In the 1880's, he was inspired by works of Raphael. His paintings then became a tight-classical style.
  • The tight-classical style paintings were not as successful for him as were his Impressionist paintings.
  • In his later years, he suffered from bouts of rheumatoid arthritis made painting painful and often impossible.
  • Even though he suffered pain, he continued to paint. Sometimes he had to paint with a brush tied to his crippled hand. 
  • Renoir's paintings are probably the most popular, well-known, and frequently reproduced images in the history of art.
(I'm reasoning from the Biblical Principle, Leading Idea, and word definitions.)

People are uniquely created. When we create art with our unique perception and work within our gifts/talents, we create something that reflects our individuality (character). In doing so, we may reach others for God's glory. I say we may reach others for God's glory because we have a choice to use our affections as, virtuous or vile affections (as Webster's definition gives).

"The Head of a Dog" is an impression of what Renoir saw. It is "the effect which objects produce on the mind" (as Webster's definition explains).

While the Impressionists painted with oil paints and brushes, we're going to use chalk pastels. Remind your students to create their impressionistic interpretation of Renoir's painting (below) with "a breaking out in blotches" or "broken spots" of color. (We learned this as we studied Calude Monet.)

"The Head of a Dog"
Renoir 1870

My Interpretation of Renoir's
"The Head of a Dog"

a printout of "The Head of a Dog" by Renoir
8.5" x 11" card stock paper or white construction paper (1 per student)
chalk pastels (Renoir really used oils but chalk pastels are less expensive... and give a nice soft effect). We used light brown, chocolate brown, yellow, gray, black (the white is just the paper) 

Art Project:
  • Have your students sketch "The Head of a Dog" by carefully observing it.
  • Have them observe the lighter areas and then color those in first.
  • Next, have them observe the medium areas and color those in.
  • Then, have them observe the darker areas and apply those colors.
  • Have them be careful not to color in the areas that are to remain white.
  • To soften the colors, have them blend the colors with their finger where the colors meet.
  • Lastly, have them apply and smear colors for the background.
What some of the kids did!

 11 year old

9 year old

7 year old
 3 year old
(Her daddy sketched it, she traced areas of it, and then she colored it in herself) :)

File it away or display it. Maybe take a picture so you can create a photo book of their art at the end of the school year!
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Permission is granted for educational purposes only- but not for profit. Thank You.

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