Auguste Renoir was a French Impressionist artist, best known for intimate portraits and plein air paintings. Like many of his contemporaries, Renoir became interested in printmaking processes. Renoir experimented with both etching and lithography, making works that related to his oil paintings. His prints are often printed solely in black ink, differing from his colorful painted works. Like his paintings, Renoir’s prints focused on the feminine figure, portraying women bathing or small children with their mothers.
Les Deux Baigneuses. 1895. Etching
Bust of a child. 1908. Softground etching
Le chapeau epinglé. 1894. Etching
Renoir’s dealer, Ambroise Vollard encouraged Renoir to expand his portfolio by making graphic works. Official catalogs list sixty prints by Renoir, including 25 etchings and 35 lithographs. Renoir started making prints late in his career; the majority of his graphic works were printed in the 1890s or after 1900. Theodore Duret, the famous author and art critic, utilized many of Renoir’s prints in his books.
Berthe Morisot. 1892. Drypoint
Sur la Plage. 1892. Etching
While Renoir only produced sixty prints, they were published in relatively large editions and in most cases have been reprinted as limited edition prints. In general, his etchings were printed in smaller editions than his lithographs.