Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Renoir, the painter of café walls...

Most people don't know that for a time before his paintings sold, the young Auguste Renoir made a sort of living painting café walls. The family of one café owner was amazed as they watched him rush up and down a ladder "like a squirrel." The owner was so pleased with the painting of Venus rising from the waves that Renoir's reputation got around and soon he had covered twenty Paris café walls with murals. Alas, not one remains. He was just a thin, eager painter who could paint a lovely girl on a wall in exchange for a glass of wine or a bowl of soup. This story is from the marvelous memoir RENOIR: MY FATHER, by the film director Jean Renoir.

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