God Hates Renoir

I had to laugh when I read this article in the Independent.  The story is about the group calling themselves Renoir Sucks protesting in front of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Renoir Sucks’ main tenant is, well, that Renoir sucks. The group maintains that they are tired of the ‘irredeemable treacle of Pierre-Auguste Renoir diluting the collection.’ They are calling for the resignation of the Museum’s director for ‘curatorial failing.’ They further maintain that the display of Renoir’s work “amounts to an act of aesthetic terrorism.’ One Renoir Sucks member declaimed that he resents being ‘exposed to Renoir’s deformed pink fuzzy women and scary looking babies.’

One group member carried a placard exclaiming God Hates Renoir!

Diana the Huntress by Renoir

Diana the Huntress by Renoir

Poor Renoir.   Renoir was a childhood favorite who inspired me to be an artist. He created many wonderful paintings, but I have to admit they have point. Cleveland has a few of his masterpieces but they have an inordinate number of later works that I pass by without a glance.

Sometime during mid-life Renoir questioned his earlier Impressionist work. His late output is filled with classical borrowings disfigured with murky glazes. The colors are dirty and ‘fuzzy.’ The drawing is weak, which is all the more glaring because that was his own criticism–the Impressionists lacked firm drawing.

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