Age may slow the body and the mind down but many artists experience a great creative flowering in the last stage of their lives. That was certainly true for Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), one of the world's most popular Impressionist artists, and Francisco Jose de Goya (1746-1828), who has been called the father of modern painting. Other artists, such as Rembrandt, have created sensitive and evocative paintings of elders.
Renoir is a sense-luscious French film about the artist who toward the end of his career returned to painting nudes in the open air. His muse is a 15-year-old girl; he is enthralled with by the way "her skin soaks up light." Despite his arthritic hands, Renoir manages to create more beauty at his luxurious home and studio by the sea in the south of France.
Goya in Bordeaux is a film portrait of the Spanish painter who spent the last years of his long and illustrious life living in exile. Director Carlos Saura inventively conveys the creative sparks in Goya's closing days.
In How Rembrandt Reveals Your Beautiful, Imperfect Self: Life Lessons From the Master by Roger Housden shows how Rembrandt's art speaks to all those who want to follow their vision regardless of how difficult or unrealistic that may be. The author believes that in the last dozen years of his life, this gifted painter created some of the greatest masterpieces of Western art. (See below)
Old Man in Prayer, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Click on the link or picture to see a high resolution reproduction of this painting.)