I Hate Renoir

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Shannon Frechem, Journalist

Contrary to the title of this article, I love Renoir. In the art community, that makes me a crazy person. Why? you might ask. Because EVERYBODY hates Renoir. It is an extraordinary phenomenon involving protests, news stories, and rallies all centered around a universal hate for this particular artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who created impressionistic art in the late nineteenth century. It’s time to get to the bottom of this strange rash of protests against this innocent artist.

In October of 2015, protestors from the organization “God-Hates-Renoir” gathered outside of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for a protest. Despite the fact that the museum was not featuring any works by the infamous artist, Renoir, the people gathered just for pure rage against him. A French teacher of mine had attended a similar protest, and when questioned on her motivation, she replied, “I just really hate Renoir.”

Because of this seemingly vague rage and lack of reason for it, most people are not buying into the “I Hate Renoir” movement. In an article published by “The Atlantic,” art critic Sebastian Smee denounced the movement as a “stunt.” Despite this, Smee also declared that he is not a fan of the artist. He is quoted in the article as asking, “Is it worth getting worked up about Renoir? He is an artist I detest most of the time. Such a syrupy, falsified take on reality.”

Renoir seems to be an artist people love to hate, but it is obvious that he didn’t gain his fame from being disliked. One example of this can be found in the foreign film, Amelie, in which a character continually duplicates Renoir’s famous painting “Luncheon of the Boating Party” (1881). His other paintings can be found in museums like Musée d’Orsay and the National Gallery of Art.

So, whatever the reason for the “I Hate Renoir” movement and whether or not everybody really does hate him, Renoir’s legacy will never die. Whether he is famous or infamous will not matter because people will never let the world forget Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

 

Sources:

Capps, Kriston. “Why Absolutely Everyone Hates Renoir.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 13 Oct. 2015, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/why-everyone-hates-renoir/410335/.

“Luncheon of the Boating Party.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luncheon_of_the_Boating_Party.