‘The Pain Will Pass, but the Beauty Will Remain’
Pierre Auguste-Renoir (1841-1919) was a prolific French impressionist artist who painted thousands of paintings depicting French life in the last three decades of the 19th century. Renoir’s paintings are displayed in some of the finest art galleries around the world and give joy to millions.
At age 51, however, Renoir developed a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis. Painting became agony for him, but he persisted in his art. He developed progressive deformities in his hands which made it difficult for him to even hold a brush, requiring him to significantly change his painting technique.
His friend, Henri Matisse, another famous artist and 30 years his junior, visited him daily. One day, seeing Renoir having a particularly difficult time, Matisse exclaimed, “Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?”
Without removing his brush from the canvas, Renoir answered, “Because the pain will pass, but the beauty will remain.”
Pain has a way of making us self-absorbed and focus only on ourselves, but it is precisely during such times that we must make the effort, however small, to continue creating and doing work we truly believe in.
It is easy to give up on our dreams in times of pain, but we need to remind ourselves of Renoir’s immortal words and persevere, for that is often when we end up doing our most important work.
Here are some of Renoir’s most famous paintings, a living example of the truth of his words…
Have a great week!