“I have spent my life trying to determine the extent of the influence of my father upon me,” wrote acclaimed filmmaker Jean Renoir. While he never quite got to the bottom of it, Renoir: Father and Son/ Painting and Cinema is picking up the gauntlet, with a rare exploration of the parallels and, at times, paradoxical dialogue between Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste and his son.

Undeniably inspired by the painter’s vibrant legacy, in many ways Jean forged his artistic persona in opposition to and defiance of his father. Yet he shared the same bold palette, vision and, incidentally, nickname, ‘le patron’ (the boss). The first major tome dedicated to the prolific duo, Renoir not only puzzles out how Pierre-Auguste’s pictorial world informed his son’s future career as “very possibly the greatest of all directors”, but revisits Jean’s filmography in a bid to shed new light on his father’s oeuvre. A truly riveting read.

Renoir, Father and Son, Painting and Cinema, Editorial Direction by Sylvie Patry, Published by Flammarion. Highly recommended. Purchase the book on Amazon below.

From France Today magazine