Renoir is distinguished from his contemporaries through his brilliant brush work, suffusing life and light in each stroke. His intuitive use of color and expansive brushstrokes, along with an acute attention to his subject matter, have placed him among the finest painters in history.
Renoir's paintings most often focus on people in intimate and candid compositions. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.
As one of the fellow founders of Impressionism, Renoir was a good friend of Monets. In the late 1860s, through the practice of painting light and water en plein air (in the open air), he and his friend Claude Monet discovered that the color of shadows is not brown or black, but the reflected color of the objects surrounding them.