Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a founder of Impressionism, was born in Limoges to working class parents. He was educated at a Catholic school in Paris and began an apprenticeship with a porcelain painter at 15 years of age. In 1862, he gained admission to the studio of Gleyre at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he met and studied with other impressionists, including Monet, Pissarro, and Cezanne. Renoir achieved success as a portraitist in the late 1870's. Renoir's contribution to the Impressionist movement includes flowers and bouquets depicted with sparkling colour and light which are evident in his early works.
After a visit to Italy in 1882, he abandoned the Impressionist ideal and developed a softer and more supple kind of handling which is evident in his pictures of young girls in softly coloured settings. His later works of formal figure paintings show a more disciplined approach and a break from contemporary themes.
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