French, Art Classes Spend Day Learning about Renoir's Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Wardrope

This past Tuesday, Elgin Academy French students, and freshman art students paid a visit to the Chicago Art Institute for a viewing of the Renoir exhibit.

They set out at 7:30 a.m. to arrive in time for a guided tour. After the hourlong tour, they were able to see a short presentation in which Renoir and his close friend, Julie Morisot, portrayed by actors, spoke of Renoir's paintings and his life by reading excerpts from Julie's daily journal.

After this, students retired to a studio where they were given a chance to imitate Renoir's style in their own masterpieces.

For all the students, this was an opportunity to learn about French culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by observing paintings and portraits of everyday life.

"I learned about the society of French artists, and how they, especially Renoir, focused on painting the different classes and reflecting society," said freshman David Aron.

Students were also able to see Renoir's different styles of painting as his life progressed. According to junior Jeremy Jackson, "I thought the exhibit because you could see the change in Renoir's techniques as the years went on."

French teacher Terry Vincent feels that exhibits like this one give a better understanding of art and French culture altogether. "French painting is a very important part of French culture. French people are very knowledgeable about their artists, and if someone is studying French they should know about their artists, especially the Impressionists."

She also feels that the exhibit was praiseworthy because it was more organized and interactive than previous ones. …