Art: Enjoy Yourself

"Why do people always look for ideas in painting?" asked the great French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir. "When I look at a masterpiece, I am satisfied merely to enjoy it." Last week at Manhattan's Wildenstein gallery plenty of satisfied art lovers were thoroughly enjoying themselves. The reason: the first big U.S. show of Master Renoir's paintings in a decade.

Drawn mainly from private collections in the U.S., the exhibit offered many seldom-seen glimpses into Renoir's sunny, easygoing world. Unlike some of his contemporaries who were fascinated by life's seamy edges, Renoir doted on what was pretty, could see no reason for painting...

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