In Renoir’s first monographic exhibition in Hungary presenting almost seventy works, we explore an oeuvre spanning six decades, from the beginnings through the major impressionist works to the last masterpiece, The Bathers, completed shortly before his death. Portraits, genre paintings, and nudes illustrate the artist’s unflagging, profound, and sincere curiosity in human life, the body, and the face. His models (friends, patrons, and members of his family) are part of a joyful, colourful, sensual world. The exhibition explores the master’s entire oeuvre: the virtuoso portraitist of the artistic and literary circles in the paris of the 1860s–1870s; his detailed observation of contemporary life, with its dance and countryside scenes, and fêtes galantes in montmartre; the painter of intimate family life and childhood; and, of course, the master of the nude, who, at the beginning of the twentieth century was still one of the greatest painters of his day.
By means of this selection of works, the exhibition also explores the painter’s life and models. The way in which renoir observed and recreated the features and physiognomies of the men and – above all – women who sat for him, sketched them in balls and bathing, in the café and playing the piano, breast feeding or pampering their children, embodied an artistic ideal and an ideal of life, imbued with softness and light, individual happiness and social harmony.
Renoir - The Painter and his Models, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, 22 September 2023 – 7 January 2024