With Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir helped found Impressionism, freeing painting from having to tell a story. Artists could simply capture what they saw. "The artist who uses the least of what is called imagination will be the greatest," he told his son Jean, whose importance as filmmaker equaled his father's as painter.

The son of a tailor in Limoges, Renoir saved the money he earned from painting china, fans, and window shades to move to Paris. Gustave Courbet and the Old Masters in the Louvre were his first major influences. With Impressionism in the late 1860s, Renoir began using broken brushstrokes, his color became lighter, and he composed his canvases in patches of colored light.