French movie director
(1894 - 1979)
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
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.