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Charles-Paul Renouard
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Cour-Cheverny, France
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Death Place: 
A talented and observant illustrator, Charles-Paul Renouard chronicled his times in illustrations in the pages of newspapers and magazines published in Paris and London, albums of etchings and lithographs and in paintings. Born in a village in France’s Loire Valley, he moved to Paris at the age of fourteen to work as a house painter. Renouard eventually entered the studio of Isidore Pils (1813 or 1815-1875) at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1868. With Pils he worked on the decoration of the new Paris Opera and is credited with creating frescoes for the ceiling. He made his Salon debut in 1877 with drawings of actors. His talent as an illustrator was widely praised, and starting in 1875 his work was used by such journals as Paris-illustrée, L’Illustration, le Figaro illustré and La Vie moderne. In 1884 he began providing illustrations for London’s The Graphic. Renouard’s depicted the people and the events of his day, including such diverse subjects as the silk-weavers’ strikes in Lyons, official visits, animals, the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, the Diamond Jubilee and funeral of Queen Victoria (1819-1901), dancers, opera singers, actors and artists, the trials of Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) and Émile Zola (1840-1902), and scenes of World War I. Renouard traveled though much of Europe and to the United States to pursue subjects for his art. He drew pencil portraits of members of London’s Royal Academy, which were published in The Graphic. He published numerous albums of his work, beginning with Le Nouvel Opéra, an album of thirty etchings and aquatints, in 1881. He contributed a lithograph to the portfolio of ninety-four prints, L’estampe original (The Original Print, 1893-1895), published by André Marty (1857-?). In the early 20th century photography replaced artists’ illustrations in many journals, but Renouard continued his career, publishing albums of etchings and lithographs. Perhaps the best known of these are Mouvements, Gestes, Expressions (Movements, Gestures and Expressions, 1905) and Paul Renouard, son œuvre sur la guerre, 1914-1917 (Paul Renouard, His Work About the War, 1914-1917). Renouard was a member of the Société des Artistes Français and of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, received gold medals at the Paris Expositions Universelle in 1889 and 1900 and was made a member of the Legion of Honor in 1893. (TNB 6/2010) Selected bibliography: Bailly-Herzberg, Janine. Dictionnaire de l’estampe en France, 1830–1950, pp. 279-280. Paris: Arts et Métiers Graphiques, 1985. Clément-Janin. “Paul Renouard,” The Print Collector’s Quarterly, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 129-148, April, 1922.