French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir began his artistic career as a youth, painting designs on fine china in a porcelain factory. He also frequented the Louvre to study the work of the Old Master painters. In 1862, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied under Charles Gleyre.
His early work shows the influence of Gustave Courbet’s realism and Eugene Delacroix’s coloring. Much of his oeuvre, consisting of several thousand paintings, depicts scenes of contemporary life in the Impressionist vein. Later in his life, Renoir turned toward more classical imagery, and produced his famous depictions of female nudes.
Renoir made his first etching in 1890, at age 49. Many of his prints were copies after his paintings, produced in response to the high demand for his work. A year or two after his earliest endeavors in printmaking, Renoir drew his first lithograph. The famous French publisher, Ambroise Vollard, persuaded Renoir to make one of his earliest series, twelve lithographs entitled, "Douze Lithographies," drawn in 1904-05 and published in 1919.