/ / 11 Most Famous Paintings By Renoir (Pierre-Auguste Renoir) You Should See

11 Most Famous Paintings By Renoir (Pierre-Auguste Renoir) You Should See

Looking for the most famous paintings by Renoir? From Moulin de la Galette to Luncheon of the Boating Party, this post will show you all the best works of Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir commonly known as Auguste Renoir or just Renoir is one of the famous French painters and artists credited for starting the Impressionist art revolution.

Critics lauded him for his incredible eye for beauty reflected in his most famous artworks.

Besides Impressionism, he was at the forefront of modernism and the realism movement in the French art scene.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir is one of the best painters from France.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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For this reason, the most famous paintings by Renoir are used as an example to depict these particular artistic styles.

Renoir was also notable for using the bustling Parisian leisure and way of life as his favorite subject.

If you love the Impressionist art style, you should check out these famous Renoir paintings as they best represent his artistic style and creative vision.

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Most Famous Paintings by Renoir

Below are the 11 most famous paintings of Renoir plus the year they were painted throughout his life. To give you context, Renoir was born on 25th February 1841 and died on 3rd December 1919.

1. Dance at the Moulin de la Galette (1876)

Bal du moulin de la Galette is one of the famous Paris paintings.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Bal du moulin de la Galette, this is arguably the most famous painting by Renoir. He completed this painting in 1876, and it depicts a crowd in an outdoor dance hall called Moulin de la Galette.

The location that inspired this painting is in a notable neighborhood of Paris known as Montmartre.

The scene depicted in the painting is that of people in merriment and socializing. Some are dancing while others are seated at a table, conversing. The subjects are wearing formal dresses and suits.

Even though Renoir uses black as the primary color in this painting, he masterfully injects as many colors into the image and his portrayal of the sunlight beams is incredibly commendable.

Aside from the impressive painting techniques used, this painting is notable for its portrayal of the life of leisure in France.

If you want to have a closer look at it, this painting is on display at the Musee d’ Orsay in Paris, France.

2. Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881)

Luncheon of the boating party is one of the famous paintings of France.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In the list of famous paintings by Renoir, this is among the top pieces. Luncheon of the Boating Party is a masterpiece that Renoir completed a few years after his most famous artwork — Dance at the Moulin de la Galette.

Like the painting above, this one showcases people (his friends and future wife) in a social setting gathered to share food, drinks, and conversations.

The painting is set at the Maison Fournaise restaurant, a restaurant on a balcony overlooking the Seine river.

In this painting, Renoir showcases his impressive use of eye-catching colors and like many of his paintings, this one also focuses on three of his favorite subjects — still life, portraiture, and outdoor scenery.

You can check out this painting at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, USA.

3. Dance at Bougival (1883)

Dance at Bougival is one of the famous paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Commissioned by Paul Durand-Ruel, Dance at Bougival was painted by Renoir in 1883. The painting is one of the 3 commissioned by the same individual all depicting the theme of dance.

In this particular painting, Renoir uses a combination of pastel and vibrant-hued colors to showcase a couple of dancing.

What makes this painting even more impressive is that it truly brings out the sense of a couple in motion making you feel like you’re actually watching them making moves in a cafe they’re portrayed in at Bougival.

Like some other famous paintings by Renoir, this one was instantly praised by critics when displayed at various exhibitions.

Today, the Dance at Bougival painting is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA where it’s considered to be one of the finest artworks in their collection.

Related Post: Famous Paintings by Eugene Delacroix

4. The Swing (1876)

The Swing  is one of the famous Renoir paintings.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Completed in 1876, the same year he painted Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, The Swing is one of the most famous paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

During the time Renoir was painting Moulin de la Galette, he rented a cottage in Montmartre which is today’s Musée de Montmartre gardens so that he could be near Moulin de la Galette. This is also the time he painted the Swing.

Renoir always loved capturing real-life social scenes and this picture portrays just that.

It features a young woman standing on the swing looking in a rather embarrassed way while the child looks at her and 2 men with one seeming taken away by her while the other one looks towards the painter with a smiling face.

This painting is another example of Renoir’s work where he uses brushstrokes to showcase sunlight and shadows in a natural setting.

Today, the Swings ranks high as one of the famous paintings in Paris and can be seen at the Orsay museum in Paris.

5. The Large Bathers (1887)

Pierre Auguste Renoir is notable for depicting nude women in his paintings and this masterpiece, the Large Bathers is one of the best examples of that.

Some of the subjects in this painting are his future wife, Aline Charigot, and Suzanne Valadon, also a painter.

Aside from depicting nude women, this artwork gained people’s attention for its use of classical styles in modern art.

Critics talked highly of Renoir’s sculptural rendering of the nude subjects. The scale of this painting is a huge contrast to the delicate details of Impressionist art. It took Renoir three years to perfect this masterpiece.

Renoir’s The Large Bathers is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA.

You can check out the photo of Large Bathers here as I would like to keep this page PG.

6. Two Sisters (1881)

Two Sisters is one of the famous paintings of Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Two Sisters is another renowned portraiture by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It depicts an older girl sitting next to her younger sister on a terrace.

The simplicity of the subject is contrasted by the elaborate details such as the flower crown on the little girl, the basket of flowers, and the foliage on the terrace.

The background is blurred, yet the viewer can still see the details of the scenery behind the subjects.

This famous artwork is also set in the same restaurant (Maison Fournaise) used in his “Luncheon of the Boating Party” masterpiece.

Renoir’s Two Sisters is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois, USA.

7. Young Girls at the Piano (1892)

Young Girls at the Piano is one of the famous paintings of Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the famous French paintings painted by Renoir is Young Girls at the Piano.

It was informally commissioned by the French government in 1891 as a way of starting a collection at the new museum known as Musee de Luxembourg that was to be opened.

The painting shows 2 girls at the piano, in a setting of a middle-class French home or bourgeois home as known at the time.

Unlike his other previous paintings, Renoir heavily prepared for this so much probably because it was the government that had requested it. He came up with various sketches for it which were discovered in the later years.

You can see Renoir’s “Two Young Girls at the Piano” on display at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France. 

8. The Umbrellas (1881-86)

The Umbrellas  is one of the most famous paintings by Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Umbrellas is one of the most famous paintings by Renoir. He started working on this project in 1881 and completed it in 1986 which was a bit unusual as it took him five years to finish it.

As a result, many critics noted the distinctive style of this work as it combines the gradual transition of his style.

One-half of the painting features light and dark tones with loose brushstrokes while the other half features muted colors and more defined outlines with an almost three-dimensional effect.

This is because he painted the first half in an impressionist way but when he came back from Italy where he had seen various paintings in a classical way, he had lost his connection to the former so he completed the painting in a classical art movement.

Today, The Umbrellas painting is on display at the National Gallery in London, UK.

9. La Grenouillère (1869)

La Grenouillère is one of the most famous paintings of Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The summer of 1869 was a pivotal moment that sparked the inspiration for this masterpiece also known as The Frog Pond.

During this time, Renoir spent a lot of time with Claude Monet sketching by the water at the resort known as La Grenouillere, just outside Paris along the Seine River.

It was believed that during this time, the two artists — Renoir and Monet practiced and mastered the techniques that came to be known as Impressionism.

Both painters made paintings depicting the same location and while Monet focused on the effects of light on the scene, Renoir wanted to highlight the human subjects through rapid and unmasked brushstrokes.

Renoir’s painting showcases people on a boat some sailing, swimming, and others walking on the gangplanks.

You can find La Grenouillère on display at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden.

10. La Lodge (1874)

La Lodge is one of the famous paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This artwork by Renoir is notable for its use of Impressionist style to depict modern life.

La Lodge depicts an elegantly dressed woman sitting in the theater box with a man seated beside him using a pair of opera glasses.

The focus on the subject (instead of what’s happening on stage) established the role of the theater as a place to be seen during that time.

Renoir’s La Lodge or The Theater Box as known by some is on display at The Courtauld Gallery in London, UK.

11. Gabrielle And Jean (1895-96)

Gabrielle And Jean is one of the most famous paintings by Renoir.

Photo credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s paintings throughout his illustrious career featured several portraitures, particularly those works depicting two protagonists.  

The infant boy in the painting is Renoir’s son, Jean. The other protagonist in the painting is a rustic maidservant, Gabrielle Renard, who joined the Renoir household staff when the family welcomed their second child.

This work of Renoir is critically acclaimed for showcasing a broad range of techniques. Critics noted Renoir’s fascination for childhood, which he recreated in his artworks.

Renoir’s Gabrielle And Jean painting is on display at the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, France.

Final Thoughts on Renoir’s Famous Paintings

Pierre-Auguste Renoir produced many artworks throughout his illustrious career, which led to his recognition as one of the most influential French painters and artists in the 19th century.

These famous paintings by Renoir best represent how his art evolved throughout his career as he played around with different techniques and subjects.

Hopefully, these artworks inspired you to discover more of Renoir’s works and some other Impressionist artists, especially those who were inspired by what he started.


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