The Peninsula Beverly Hills paints the town—with artist Alexandre Renoir.
WRITTEN BY JENN THORNTON
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS
It’s not every day that an opportunity to take a private art lesson from an instructor with bona fide bloodlines to famed French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir presents itself. Then again, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, which dreamed up this very scenario for the Peninsula Academy—its experiential collection of curated excursions—is not exactly in the business of the “everyday.”
Dubbed “An Afternoon with Renoir in Beverly Hills: An Artful Immersion,” this crown jewel of Academy offerings features artist Alexandre Renoir, of the Renoirs, one of the most celebrated clans in all of France. As great-grandson of an art-world master, the contemporary Renoir is a master-in-the-making, having been born into the family business (film auteur Jean Renoir is also a relative), but not trading on its name to make his way. Now, through the Peninsula Academy experience he currently fronts, Renoir reveals his artistic side to the aspirational few.
The immersion begins at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, where the hotel’s luxury car collects, then chauffeurs, guests to Ace Gallery for a private tour before the group saunters a short block to Revolver for another. From there, it’s off to Galerie Michael on Rodeo Drive, where Renoir shows his work in the gallery, then applies his savoir-faire to a discussion of painting and drawing basics.
“In an art lesson with me, the number-one thing to take away is fun,” says Renoir, remarking on his instructional style. “It’s more about exploring what piques your interest and how to convey that onto a canvas than it is about how well a guest takes instruction.” The aim, he says, is to “coax out” creativity and artistic ability already present. Then, it’s back to the Peninsula for Afternoon Tea with Renoir in The Living Room, which stirs conversation about art and the artist’s famous forebears.
Overall, “What I hope guests take away from an experience like this is that art, for all of its antiquity and noble expression, is still something that comes from within,” Renoir offers. “That it’s something that stems from life and from people… everyone with a creative spark has an expression to make.”
To art lovers innately curious but inevitably intimidated about expanding their artistic horizons in the presence of an instructor with the last name Renoir, he recommends taking the “do it for yourself” approach, citing the once criticized now highly celebrated van Gogh as an example of gumption leading to glory. “Just to be a little cliché—even a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step,” reminds Renoir. A good lesson, indeed.
$12,000 per person, BeverlyHills.Peninsula.com