Renoir: My Father - Jean RenoirLondon: The Reprint Society, 1962, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with a short closed tear to the foot of the upper panel. Previous owners' inscription to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
Illustrated by way of: Black and White Photographs;
From the cover: “Jean Renoir, who is himself a well-known and distinguished artist in his own medium of film direction, has written this book in much the same way as his father built up his paintings. Renoir would begin by quickly covering most of the canvas with strokes of colour, so that almost from the start, though shape and form remained indefinite, the canvas was a balanced whole; it was only gradually that ‘out of the mist the body of the model or the outlines of a landscape would emerge, as on a photographic plate immersed in a developing-bath’. So in this biography the son does not follow a strictly chronological sequence, but darts backwards and forwards over Renoir’s long and prolific life, building up a warm and living picture in rapid brush-strokes of anecdote, personal recollection and remembered conversations.
The picture that emerges is that of a good and lovable man who believed passionately in simplicity and filled his working life with a single-minded devotion to his art. The rest of Renoir’s life is the story — unusual for a creative genius — of a wonderfully happy marriage.
The kaleidoscope of memories of this happy marriage, many of them bathed in the sunlight of the Midi and the South where the family spent most of their summers, forms the best part of this endearing story. Jean Renoir brings vividly to life a delightful family circle, which included himself and his two brothers, cousin Gabrielle, the girls who came to model for Renoir and became for a time part of that circle, Renoir’s painter friends (especially Cezanne) and other friends and dealers who had first perceived his genius in his years of obscurity. And always at the centre of the circle, Renoir himself, prolific in his output, almost saintly in his goodness and simplicity, unorthodox in his views on the upbringing of children, whimsically humorous, an artist of the highest distinction and a charming and very remarkable man.”