Even though Henri Matisse was nearly twenty-eight years younger than Auguste Renoir, both great artists were close friends and often spent time together. When Renoir hardly left his home in the last years of his life, Matisse visited him daily.
Renoir, almost paralyzed by arthritis, continued to paint despite his illness. Once upon a time, Matisse watched an older colleague paint in his studio, struggling with the excruciating pain that made every brush stroke difficult. Finally, he could not stand it and, moved, exclaimed:
- Auguste, why are you still painting when you are in such terrible pain?
Renoir replied simply: Pain passes but beauty remains.
And so, almost until the day of his death, Renoir put paint on his canvas. One of his most famous paintings "The Bathing" began painted two years before his death, fourteen years after he was attacked by a painful disease.