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The Pont des Arts, Paris, 1867-1868

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas
24 x 39-1/2 in. (60.9 x 100.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

During the late 1860s, Pierre-Auguste Renoir forged a path toward the critical acclaim he would receive as an Impressionist painter and portraitist nearly a decade later. Painting en plein air, often alongside his colleague Claude Monet, with abbreviated strokes of saturated paint Renoir captured the scenes of everyday life that unfolded before him. In this magnificent view of modern Paris, men, women, children and even their dogs enjoy a leisurely day along the Seine. Some line up for a ferry ride and others simply take a stroll. Renoir’s attention to his adopted city (he was born in Limoges, and his exceptional drawing skills led him to work in a porcelain factory there) was not unusual at the time. Paris was preparing for the Universal Exposition of 1867, and all artists—painters and writers alike—turned their attention to the French city in an effort to showcase the significance, beauty and modernity of the newly established cultural capital of Europe.

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