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Jean Renoir

French movie director
(1894 - 1979)


Jean RenoirBorn in Paris on 15 September 1894, Jean Renoir was the son of the Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir. The filmmaker as a young man was encouraged to freely explore artistic and intellectual pursuits. He eventually chose ceramics, but Renoir's active interest in cinema grew while he was recuperating after being wounded by a stray bullet while serving with the Alpine infantry in 1915.

Jean Renoir first tried ceramic making along with his brother Claude in Cagnes-sur-Mer, then in Marlotte. This remained his main activity until 1923.

Renoir produced his first movie, Une Vie Sans Joie in 1924, to star his wife, his father's former model, Catherine Hessling. This was financed by the sale of some of his father's paintings. He directed his first film, La Fille d'Eau, in the same year.

In 1975 Jean Renoir was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his lifetime contribution to film. He is considered one of the first great "auteurs," a cinematic master whose distinctive style always contained a concern for human issues and a reverence for natural beauty. In 1977 he was presented with the French Legion of Honor.

Jean Renoir died in California in 1979.


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