The Harvesters Pierre-Auguste Renoir Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French impressionist painter, created The Harvesters in 1873. Renoir intended most of his artwork to appeal to the eyes of the audience; hence, did not infuse much meaning into them.

The Harvesters is one of the most famous and popular landscape artwork produced by Pierre. However, being an enthusiast of of beauty and feministic sensuality, Pierre painted the picture in a characteristic impressionist style.

Renoir’s painting clearly depicts several people in the act of harvesting their crop from the farm. It looks like a bumper harvest, and the men have already made heaps of the crop, awaiting transportation to the home, a short distance away.

The clear sky in the background seems to suggest that the atmosphere is right for the harvesting season. Being an impressionist, Pierre must have sought to convey the innermost desires of most people: harvesting.

Impressionism is a period in which this artwork was painted. It was a movement in the 19th century which was established by a group of Paris youth based artists, and was characterized by tiny, thin and small brush strokes and accurate depiction resulting to visual works hence indicating that the portrait is a pure sketch.

The image of The Harvesters clearly bears the vestiges of the impressionist era, a strong indication of Renoir’s devotion to this era.

Renoir creates The Harvesters from nature in a spontaneous and a direct style which prefigures impressionism. Some identifiable techniques can be described from the portrait. Techniques such as the use of thick and short strokes of paints which helps capture the essence of the subject quickly.

Also from the portrait, the paint is applied directly to a light or white-coloured background hence portraying a clear and magnificent image like the blue skies on the portrait. The colours used to paint are also applied side by side, a technique that helps exploit the principle of simultaneous contrast hence portraying the colours to appear more vivid to the viewer.

Pierre was a fantastic painter who used his experience, and the love of the beauty of nature to produce excellent portraits such as The Harvesters. The idea of displaying workers going about their daily lives was also used in other famous paintings such as Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte, Van Gogh's Potato Eaters and The Red Vineyard plus also Bruegel's own The Harvesters.

Monet's Haystacks series was entirely without any field workers.

The history of the portrait the harvesters has dazzle a lot of spectators and viewers since Pierre was a humble beginner as a porcelain painter. He later advances his artistic ability and combined it with various impressionist techniques and skillful use of the colours to capture and visualise the beauty of scenes, as is evident in this painting. The Harvesters brings about an inspiration from the harmony of nature, as well as the enchanting beauty of creation. Pierre once said that art should be pretty since life brings a lot of unpleasantness.

The Harvesters is one of the Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s most prolific artworks that depict the interaction between man and nature. The painting reflects the artist’s soft spot for nature, and the impressionist influence on his art life.