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on August 3, 2000
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was an artist in the fullest sense of the word. The paintings he left us show us the simplicity and sensuality of his times and their brilliant colors and joyous images express the passion of Renoir's own soul.
The paradise of color and the changing effects of light were Renoir's greatest gift to the world. This book, Renoir: The Crown Art Library, showcases some of the artist's most beloved works and gives a brief overview of his life.
A quick glance at this book tells you that Renoir's favorite subject was always people. In fact, it is possible to select an entire series of masterpieces from Renoir's works without including even one landscape--something that would be impossible with any of the other Impressionists.
The people created by Renoir are always filled with the warm joy of simply being alive. Of the many illustrations in this book, most are in color, allowing us to both study and participate in the "joie de vivre" that Renoir, more than any other artist, communicated to the world.
There is a short analysis of the evolution of Renoir's technique and we learn why he abandoned the dark, sombre colors of the Old Masters and turned to the brilliant reds, blues, yellows and greens of which he was so fond.
We learn how and why the feminine form became a stronger and stronger element in his paintings, especially those of his later years, and we see how, in the last ten years of his life, he limited his palette to only a few colors--cinnabar, ochre, Naples yellow, black and some white, yet managed to create playful visions of a sun-bright world, seemingly devoid of weight; paintings in which contours of people and surroundings are blurred and all is joined in a concord of color and naturalness.
Renoir: The Crown Art Library is a wonderful introduction to the life and style of this master Impressionist, the world's most joyous painter. Those looking for a biography of Renoir would be better off choosing Renoir, My Father, by Jean Renoir, the artist's middle son. In-depth analyses of Impressionism and Renoir's own technique in particular, are also better covered in other books such as Rewald's History of Impressionism.
But for the vast majority of people, laymen who only want to increase their knowledge and appreciation of the world's greatest artists, Renoir: The Crown Art Library offers a wonderful starting point. With is lavish illustrations and lively text, it will broaden the scope of anyone's understanding. The book is a joy to browse and once insight is gained into the how and why of each painting, that joy is only increased.
While certainly far from exhaustive, Renoir: The Crown Art Library, is a lovely book and anyone with even a passing interest in Renoir and Impressionism will find it well worth their while.
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on November 9, 2010
If you are looking for the book for Renoir, this is it. Large, slipcased filled with over 200 color plates (no black and white at all) this is currently the best book I have seen on the market for an overall glimpse of Renoir's work. He painted thousands of canvases, so this is a wonderful distillation of his career. Some of the old favorites are here, some are blown up to cover 2 pages.
Most are at least full page size and cover the gamut of his career.

If you need a general book that has excellent reproductions that are clear and a good sampling of his work, this book is very impressive. Some may be bothered by pictures that are split over 2 pages, but they are aligned so well, that all of the painting is visible and you don't need to break the back of the book to see it all. The majority are just on one page, taking up most of the space and very high resolution. Only 3 or 4 of the 200 + paintings are a little on the yellowish side, sadly enough the famous blue umbrella painting seems to be one of them. However, the vast majority are near perfect and the text is well researched.
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on April 3, 2010
This is a large and magnificent book. It contains a scholary text and an abundance of large beautiful color plates. The book is a truly a pleasure to browse, but also serves as the best serious one-volume monograph on Renoir found on the market today. It is a certainly a lifetime keeper and is protected by a sturdy, illustrated slipcase. Typical of the kind of books published by Abbeville Press, it is worth its full price, let alone the "steal price" on Amazon.
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on October 19, 2014
Not my favorite. I have a huge art-book collection and I was looking forward to adding this book to it. But, unfortunately, the prints are not as clear as they could have been. Some almost seem blurred, or at least, not as clear as they could have been. I have just been to the Chicago Art Institute and saw some of these paintings "in person". The photographs in this book do not do justice to them.
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on January 2, 2014
Wanted an in-depth overview of Renoir, his life and his visionary talent, and this book did just that and more. Considering this is an Abbeville I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. The reproductions, which is my main reason for purchasing this large format book are flawless; just the right color grading and most of the repros in this book are of paintings I have never seen before which was a major plus, bringing together his painting from various sources around the world in one convenient accessible and luxurious tome.
The book does a wonderful job of illuminating Renoir genius visually, and the writings offer insightful yet accessible window on Renoir's life, technique and influences. Cloth-bound with slip case. Highly Recommended.
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on July 4, 2013
I saw the movie, 'Renoir' and wanted a quick overview of his life and work. This book did exactly that. There are a few pages summarizing his career and many reproductions of his work.
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on January 11, 2014
Scholarly. Fascinating. Excellent overview of one of the worlds greatest artists. In depth. Beautiful. Druick also does podcasts about art.
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on February 16, 2014
An absolutely beautiful book. The book does as much justice to the work of a great master as a printed book can do.
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on September 18, 2013
Great book thanks it is just what I need we all look forward to great deals for real value Good stuff .
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on March 18, 2015
nice book, thanks
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