Happy birthday to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a Pisces painter who was born February 25, 1841.
Renoir gained fame as one of the French painters who created Impressionism.
Yet his life and work also offer an example of what people born under the Pisces zodiac sign can accomplish when they embrace their natural talent and love of the arts.
Renoir's family left their home in Limoges, known for its porcelain industry, for Paris while their son was still a small child in hopes of bettering their lives.
His musical talent flowered early, but financial constraints forced him to stop singing lessons. He also showed promise in drawing, but at 13 he had to leave school to work in a porcelain factory.
Fortunately for Renoir, his family lived near the Louvre Museum, where he sought inspiration and a break from factory work. There, he saw first hand the masterworks that helped him learn his craft and develop his unique artistic style.
As a Pisces, Renoir's multiple talents come as no surprise. Among the gifts this zodiac sign bestows are deep sensitivity and a delicate, artistic temperament.
As a mutable sign, Pisces also gives versatility and the ability to adapt to changing conditions, as Renoir frequently had to do to support himself before his art career became established.
By the early 1860s, Renoir enrolled in art school, although lack of money continued to present challenges and he sometimes couldn't afford paint.
As a student, he met Claude Monet and other artists who later banded together to create new opportunities to exhibit their art. This circle of painters also created the Impressionist movement in art.
Renoir, Monet, and their fellow artists created a new artistic style that remains beloved to this day.
They moved away from an academic focus on line and form as well as traditional historic and religious subjects in favor of a new artistic freedom by painting everyday scenes in a fresh and vivid style.
Often, they painted outdoors using saturated colors, small dabs of paint in contrasting colors, and loose brush strokes. Sometimes Renoir and Monet would paint the same scene together, creating masterworks that showcase their contrasting styles.
Painting in nature allowed Renoir and his fellow painters to capture the changing effects of light within a landscape. Typically, they would paint several versions of the same scene, created at different times of day to underscore how different light appears in late afternoon, for example, compared to early morning or noon or dusk.
Many aspects of Renoir's art reflect his Pisces zodiac sign:
Although Renoir died in 1919, his paintings continue to inspire people around the world.
As a Pisces, he created his version of an ideal world in the canvases he painted. There, a kind of shimmering stillness presides and touches the heart with its seemingly simple gentleness.
On a difficult day, looking at a Renoir can offer a rest from worldly cares and concerns. And like this Pisces painter, we may wish we could escape into that ideal place he invented through paint.
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