Renoir: Intimacy

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Apr. 2018. 200p. illus. notes. ISBN 9788415113881. $65. FINE ARTS
In this exhibition catalog, curators Guillermo Solana (Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Spain) and Colin Bailey (Morgan Library & Museum, NY) focus on one particular aspect of his work, which they refer to as intimacy, the very personal response of the artist to his subject. Renoir used his brush to emphasize the sense of touch, the sensual caress of the layers of paint upon the canvas. Regardless of the type of painting, family scenes, portraits, or nudes, the connection between artist and subject was always a visceral, tactile one. The exhibition includes works from around the world as well as those in the curators' own institutions and offers convincing evidence of this use of texture and volume to connect the painter with the surface of the canvas as well as the subject. For Renoir, to paint was to touch, to caress the surface with the strokes of his brush in his lifelong passion for the personal and intimate.
VERDICT Familiar paintings take on a new aura in this volume and may be of interest to those who appreciate the work of Renoir.
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