The Trouble with Renoir


Martha Lucy, deputy director for research, interpretation, and education, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia 

Renoir is one of the most beloved artists of all time but also one of the most detested. While one critic in 1912 named him “the greatest living painter,” another, writing in 1986, called him “the worst artist ever to achieve canonical status.” What is it about Renoir that provokes such strong opinions? Martha Lucy, author of Renoir in the Barnes Foundation, unpacks the wildly divergent reactions to Renoir over the past hundred years, focusing especially on the voluptuous nudes presented in the Kimbell’s exhibition.



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