Happy Birthday, Renoir

“Art is about emotion; if it needs to be explained, it is no longer art.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

One of the fathers of the Impressionist period, French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir honed in on the beauty of small, intimate human moments in his paintings. From hanging out at the opera to walking in the park, Renoir’s subjects are often artfully captured in candid moments – we like to think that he’s one of the 19th century’s greatest people watchers. To celebrate his 176th birthday today, we’re rounded up some of our favorite paintings of his (although with over a thousand paintings in his repertoire, it’s hard to choose), as well as our favorite modern-day responses to the French impressionist’s work:

1. La Grenouillère (1869)

2. La Loge (1874)

3. Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (1875)

4. Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81)

5. Unsurprisingly, there have been quite a few responses to Renoir’s prolific work. Here are a few of our favorites: Renoir 2.0, a biped robot that paints in Renoir’s traditional broad Impressionist brushstrokes, artist Thierry Guetta’s painting of a famous American TV family in the style of Renoir, and the endless (and obsessive) quest to discover a Renoir painting’s true colors.

At Classic Specs, we’re always inspired by artists – the way they live, the way they think, and the beautiful things they create. And we love working with them, too. Check out our Classic Specs Artist Collaboration Series to see the glasses and sunglasses we’ve made with artists Jean Jullien, Margherita Urbani, and Tim Lahan.

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