Pierre-Auguste Renoir's (1841-1919) timelessly charming paintings still reflect our ideals of happiness, love, and beauty. Derived from our large-format volume, the most comprehensive retrospective of his work published to date, this compact edition examines the personal history and motivation behind the legend. Though he began by painting landscapes in the Impressionist style, Renoir found his true affinity in portraits, after which he abandoned the Impressionists altogether. Though often misunderstood, Renoir remains one of history's most well-loved painters-undoubtedly because his works exude such warmth, tenderness, and good spirit. In an incisive text tracing the artist's career and stylistic evolution, Gilles Neret shows how Renoir reinvented the painted female form, with his everyday goddesses and their plump forms, rounded hips and breasts. Renoir's later phase, marked by his return to the simple pleasure of the female nude in his baigneuses series, was his most innovative and stylistically influential, and would inspire such masters as Matisse and Picasso. With a complete chronology, bibliography, photos, sketches, and brilliant reproductions, this is the essential work of reference on this enduring master artist. About the series Bibliotheca Universalis - Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe!