Summer 1915 was no picnic for Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He was seventy-three and feeling old; mourning the death of his wife Aline; and  out of sorts with his sons Pierre and Jean, both injured in combat in the war, and Claude, a bored teenager. His rheumatoid arthritis was so severe that his paint brush was tied to his hand.

This malaise lifted, and his creative imagination recharged when he hired Andrée, a young woman with a voluptuous body and a feisty personality.

There are numerous alfresco meals where there is always bread and wine, but the rest is unknown. Tant pis (means “oh well”). 

Renoir’s caretakers (all women) preparing the picnic near his home at Cagnes-sur-Mer, now a suburb of Nice. Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir.

Featured Image: Renoir painting by a stream. To one side are his paints; on the other side a picnic basket in easy reach.  Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir.

See: J Gilles Bourdos. Renoir (2012). Screenplay by Gilles Bourdos , Jerome Tonnerre and Michel Spinosa based on Jacques Renoir’s Le Table Amoureux, 2012. Fidélité Films; Jacques Renoir Le Table Amoureux [aka Table of Lovers ]. Paris: Fayard, 2003. Published in the U.S. as Renoir an Intimate Biography (2017)