By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
In France, Paul is still a celebrity. He's still ushered into museums where lines wrap around the block. It's not easy, Paul says, because everyone expects more from him because he's a Renoir. His friend Terry had made a similar comment over the phone: "How do you ever get away from that? How do you ever get accepted on your own?"
"You can go to any famous family, they all have problems," Marie-Paule says. But, she adds, that doesn't necessarily mean they're unhappy. She motions to Paul. "He's happy. He's a healthy man. There's nothing more he can offer himself or me either, so he's happy with everybody else, and he lives on that cloud. As long as he has his books around him and all that. We don't go dancing. We don't go out and socialize. I don't need it. I don't."
For her own part, she's happy too, but could be better. "We still own a fortune with [Pierre-Auguste's] papers."
So does Paul ever yearn to go back to Europe? He shakes his head. He's happy right here. "This is where she is," he says, smiling gleefully as he nudges his wife. It's virtually the only bit of English he's spoken.
When finished, Paul needs some help standing. The wear of age and gravity is evident, but there is still an odd levity to his step, as if the floor were cumulous. This dinner's on the house, yet another benefit of being a Renoir. And there's good news about those archives. They might have found a buyer. If true, then his name will indeed be the only thing of his grandfather's Paul Renoir has left.