A famous painter at the age of 48 develops persistent and progressive
joint pain and inflammation. Living in excruciating pain – his hands
become twisted, the thumbs turning inward, toward his palms; he eventually
must use a wheelchair to get around – he nevertheless continues to paint
until the end of his life, 22 years later.
The artist? Pierre-August Renoir. The disease? Rheumatoid arthritis.
Renoir’s persistence and passion in the face of his arthritis is the topic
of a free lecture titled “”Renoir, His Art and His Arthritis”” given by
James S. Louie, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Harbor-UCLA
Medical Center, at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, at Western University of
“”There were no effective therapies or surgeries at the time of his
diagnosis”” in 1890, Dr. Louie said. “”Yet Renoir persevered through his
pain and devised tools to help him paint. I challenge the audience to see
if they can see any difference in his work”” after the artist contracted
the arthritis, Dr. Louie said.
During the lecture, Dr. Louie shows slides of Renoir’s works, both before
and after he contracted the disease.
Dr. Louie will speak to Western University’s first- and second-year
students in the institution’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the
Pacific at 4 p.m. A second lecture at 6 p.m. is open to the public. The
lecture will take place in Amphitheater II, 2nd Floor, Health Professions
Center, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 E. Second Street,
For more information, contact Western University’s Media Relations
Department at (909) 469-5389.