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Art criticism analysis and description of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Nude” painting

Parisians are born with all the shortcomings, but the wonderful fairy gives any flaw to their charm and enchantment. This fairy is grace.
Heinrich Heine
The painting “Naked” was written by Pierre-Auguste Renoir during the transitional period of his work, when the development of his art was approaching the zenith of fame after difficult years of misunderstanding and sharp criticism: “Rough blots, inspiring thoughts of decaying flesh – this was the first time they spoke about my paintings. It is not surprising that from time to time, Monet and I, to distract ourselves, ate a shpigovanny turkey, which was poured with chambertin, ”Renoir later recalled.
The artist embodied a completely new idea of ​​the ideal of female beauty, which was not recognized by the official Salon. Renoir did not resort to the plot scenery, like his predecessor E. Manet in the famous “Olympia”. The artist does not try to elevate his model to the goddess and thereby justify her. In the words of Edmond Duranti (in an article on painting), “The masters of antiquity created what they saw … Depict and you what you see.” The heroine of Renoir – the Parisian beauty Anna (“belle Anne”) remains a model. The model was a girl from Montmartre, who was brought to Renoir by budding artist Henri Gervais. On this canvas, Renoir, like his predecessors, representing the French school, spiritualizes nudity, there is no challenge and a hint of profligacy. Renoir as a poet of a female body portrays flesh as something intangible and inaccessible.
We turn directly to the canvas – this is a medium-sized picture, the format is vertical. Portrait in the “nu” genre. made in the interior. Around the model a pile of iridescent silks – light drapery lines create contours of bizarre and abstract forms surrounding the model’s body shining with beauty and youth, just as a shell frames a beautiful pearl. Octav Mirbo noted that Renoir not only depicts the external appearance, but through it shows the inner world of his models: “… places them in a very different space and in very different lighting, where all the female beauty, shimmering from tenderness and softness to melancholy and suffering can be perfectly embodied. ”
The woman is depicted in the center of the picture on a couch with pink-green silk upholstery. The pose adopted by the model, sideways to the viewer, is rather complicated and deprives the model of the excessive ease and emancipation that can be expected from a portrait in the “nu” style. Despite its fullness, her graceful body is hidden in such a position from prying eyes – only the back, shoulders and part of the model’s chest fell into the frame. At the same time, Anna turns her face to the viewer, turning her head gracefully. As it cannot be said that her body corresponds to ideal proportions, her features are far from classical correctness.
The face glows with spring freshness, marked by a pinkish blush on the cheeks. Luminous light skin was shown by Renoir through the use of a sensually smoothed writing method (smooth glaze, fine touches). Smears on the skin of the face and neck are practically indistinguishable – the soft transitions of soft cream and pinkish-peach shades create a unique charm of a healthy natural blush. Renoir himself noted: “What I love is the skin of a girl, pink, which allows me to guess the normally pulsing blood underneath. And most of all I love serenity. ” The serenity and softness of the gaze is achieved through the shadow of the eyelashes. Bright shining almond-shaped blue eyes with a slightly damp sheen turned to the viewer. Bright red strokes add extra volume to the lips – this emphasis attracts the viewer’s eye. Several subtly written bright orange-red lines in the hair outline the contour of the hairstyle and give it volume. Thick dark brown hair is collected a little carelessly and looks natural. These strands, which a man would like to touch, are one of the examples of how Renoir “the voluptuousness of men finds its embodiment in the voluptuousness of the artist.”
The figure of a woman can be compared with a porcelain figurine, albeit not so fragile – “Renoir loved women who are full-bodied”, but just as snow-white and iridescent with pink mother-of-pearl of youth and pure beauty. It is likely that the artist was influenced by his long experience in porcelain painting, in his youth he copied nudes from his mother’s book, which depicted the gods of Olympus by the great masters of the Italian Renaissance. If we compare his models with the ideal of female beauty by Gauguin in order to compare the preferences of two artists, it should be said that Renoir once even refused to participate in the exhibition, wittily noting the reason like this: “I could not stand the painting of Gauguin. His brunettes have an anemic appearance. ”
The artist has always paid particular attention to hands. “Usually, to find out how sincere a person is, they look him in the eye. Renoir looked at his hands. If he was asked to list the parts of the human body according to the degree of their significance, he would undoubtedly start with his hands. ”

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