Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for October 28th, 2017

Renoir at work

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Renoir could not deal with two ideas simultaneously, but he could go from one motif to another and forget the proceeding one. All the problems in a picture on which he was working were perfectly clear to him, and the rest of the world disappeared as completely as if it had never existed. When he did not feel for a picture he never forced it. Those around him knew at once. He would cease humming to himself and rub the left side of his nose violently with the index finger of the left hand. And he would finally say to the society woman whose portrait he was doing, or to the model who had stopped his tune: “We’re marking time. I think it would be better if we put it off till tomorrow.” The lady or the model would look crestfallen. He would smoke a cigarette, play a little with his game of bilboquet, and then make up his mind. “Gabrielle, go and get Jean and his foulard scarf.” Sometimes he would go out for five or ten minutes and walk as far as Manière’s to get a packet of Maryland cigarettes. “You have to stop work and take a stroll once in a while.”

Jean Renoir, Renoir, My Father

Written by nevalalee

October 28, 2017 at 7:30 am

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