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The Problem with Renoir: A Hard Look at the Artist on the Centennial of His Death

Mary Morton, curator and head of French paintings, National Gallery of Art

Auguste Renoir rebelled against the standards of the official art world, like other impressionists, pushing the limits of painting and creating his distinct style. But Renoir, in particular, has become an all-too-easy target for museumgoers who find his late female figures contrived and his palette cloying. Marking the centennial of the artist’s death in 1919, Mary Morton counters the anti-Renoir movement by reaffirming the artist’s achievement and lasting significance within the history of Western art in her lecture on December 3, 2019.