Books: Sanity and Sun

RENOIR, MY FATHER (458 pp.]—Jean Renoir—Little, Brown ($8.95).

No biography in years has been as warm and likable as this recollection of the great impressionist painter Renoir by his son Jean. The younger Renoir posed for his father constantly as a child; now, turned portraitist, he has done a remarkable job of sketching a gentle genius. Pierre-Auguste Renoir is lucky in his biographer; his son, a playwright and film director (The River) shows none of the radiation damage that sons of geniuses sometimes display.

Without Thunder. In his son's recounting, Renoir was the sanest and sunniest of men. His biography is a powerful...

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