Thursday, October 20, 2005

Renoir's Women

My parents were visiting us last week and my Mom and I spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying "Renoir's Women" currently at the Columbus Museum of Art. If you have a chance to see this unique exhibition, I highly recommend it. Pierre-Auguste Renoir has long been my favorite artist -- I feel a deep emotional connection to the people in his portraits. It's a magical combination of impressionist subtleties and piercing reality in the eyes.

This portrait of Madame Henriot is one of my favorites -- not as much because of what's on the surface, but for the story behind it. In reality, Madame Henriot, an actress and Renoir's lover, was not beautiful. She was plain, hairy, and a little husky. But her portraits portray such incredible beauty and peace -- because that's how Renoir saw her soul. I think we all hope to be portrayed with a little soft-focus and love.

Renoir's "Madame Henriot"

"We see the world not as it is, but as we are" -- Anais Nin

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