La belle vie

Impressionism's most joyful paintings

Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) is now universally acclaimed: museums pride themselves on his paintings, crowds flock to his retrospectives. His work shows art at its most light-hearted, sensual and luminous. Renoir never wanted anything ugly in his paintings, nor any dramatic action. "I like pictures which make me want to wander through them when it’s a landscape," he said, "or pass my hand over breast or back if it’s a woman."

Renoir’s entire oeuvre is dominated by the depiction of women. Again and again he painted "these faunesses with their pouting lips" (Mallarmé) and invented a new image of feminity.
About the Series:
Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
  • a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
  • a concise biography
  • approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions
The author:
Peter H. Feist studied art history, history and archaeology in Halle, where he was assistant lecturer from 1952-1958, receiving his doctorate in 1958. From 1958-1981 he worked at the Humboldt University, Berlin, from 1982-1990 he was the director of the Institute for Aesthetics and Art Studies of the GDR Academy of Sciences in East Berlin. Feist has published numerous books on the history and theory of art, including TASCHEN's Pierre-Auguste Renoir and, as co-author, Impressionism. He lives and works in Berlin.
Renoir (Basic Art Series)


Softcover with flaps, 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
$ 9.99

Online currently not available
  • Reviews
M. Renoir didn't invent a NEW image of femininity as much as he developed and he cultivated in an utterly inimitable way, God Bless him, the final and perfect description and appreciation of the sweet, old fashioned girl! Women as they might be, could be, and ought to be!

Nowhere is there that revolting 'imitation man' syndrome all too frequent among modern women and their promoters. You would no more describe a Renoir lady (and I use the term "lady" to include girls of 8 or 9 as well as their grandmothers of 80 or 90) as 'strong', 'assertive','modern', over-educated, 'independent' and the like---the descriptives for today's so-called women---then you would use descriptions of a sewage treatment plant to describe lovely and fragrant rare flowers in a garden!

M. Renoir was unique, we never really had anyone like him before, and we sure as hell never saw anyone like him again! We are much the poorer for it, I think especially women!

David K. Meller
— David K. Meller, United States
  • See also
Impressionism (TASCHEN 25 Edition)
Hardcover, 8.2 x 10.8 in., 712 pages
New edition, only $ 39.99
Original edition $ 79.90
Coming soon Impressionism
Postcard box (100 postcards with 50 motives), 4.2 x 5.9 in., 200 pages
$ 19.99