He had a wonderful zest for life. He did everything at full throttle.
Despite the severe rheumatism, chained him to a chair, the artist painted young bathers till his old age. Yet he was a family man and highly appreciated everything his wife gave him - organized household and excellent cuisine.
Slender, 178 cm height, with bright eyes he looked nervous and sensitive.
In 1865 the artist Alfred Sisley offered Renoir to share the apartment he rented. Soon after Renoir met Lise Trehot in the house of his friend, the painter Jules Le Coeur. Renoir was 24, Lise was 17-18, but a tall, healthy and blooming girl looked much older. She became his model and girlfriend, and for several years Renoir had been tirelessly reproducing her features.
As Renoir admitted, "the picture was considered pretty improper." The painting was rejected when Renoir submitted it to the Salon in 1867.
In 1868, "Lise (Woman with Umbrella)" received good reviews from critics.
Earlier such paintings, full-length portraits, and a similar composition were used only for the portraits of the royal family.
Despite the fact that his work attracted the attention of the public, Renoir had been barely making ends meet.
That year Renoir also painted a portrait of Alfred Sisley and his wife.
Some report, this painting, commonly known as "Alfred Sisley and his Wife, the Engagement", represents Sisley with Lise Trehot, instead of Marie Lescouezec, who Sisley married in 1866.
In accordance with morals and manners of his times Renoir couldn't portray himself with his mistress, so he performed some kind of substitution. Interestingly, a partner in such paintings was one of his friends, also an artist.
In summer of 1869 Renoir and Lise moved in with his parents in the village of Voisins, in Louveciennes. Most of the time Renoir spent painting on the shores of the Seine with Claude Monet.
In 1870, Lise sat for his painting "Odalisque, (an Algerian woman)", quite colorful work in oriental style, which was in fashion then, influenced by Delacroix's "Women of Algeria".
In 1870 Renoir was drafted into the army during the Franco-Prussian War, in March 1871 he returned to Paris. Apparently, two years apart was too long - Lise Trehot got married in 1872.
On this occasion Renoir painted a portrait of a young woman and gave it to her.
Next: Art Models and Renoir. Marguerite Legrand
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