Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges in 1841. His father was a tailor and his family lived in the centre of the city, in the shadow of the Tuileries Palace. Aged 13, Renoir had begun work as a porcelain painter for a factory creating pastoral pieces that evoked the Rococo decoration of the 'Ancien Régime', as well as likenesses of Marie Antoinette, a motif he had quickly mastered. In fact, Renoir was so accomplished that before long he was allowed to copy nudes from a book his mother had given him, called The Gods of Olympus by the Great Masters. This quickly earned him the nickname ‘Monsieur Rubens’ among his fellow workers. The nude, the portrait, the landscape: there in miniature are three of the main genres that would occupy Renoir for the rest of his life.