(1831 Paris - 1922 Paris) French art dealer, gallery owner artist biography.
Paul Durand-Ruel's father was a art dealer. In 1865 young Paul took over the family business when illness forced him to leave the army. He soon established a relationship with a group of oil painters who would become known as the Impressionists. His first major exhibition of their work took place in his London gallery in 1872. He was one of the first modern art dealers who provided support to his painters with stipends and solo exhibitions.
Though the darling of art collectors today, the Impressionists were hardly an immediate success in their own time. Rebuffed and discouraged, they were reduced to organizing their own exhibitions in place of that of the official Salon. Called the Salon de Refuse', these art shows ranged from small scandals to major disasters. Scorned by officials and the public, viewers ridiculed and laughed at their artwork, but mostly, they did not buy the art.
However over time, a few enlightened art collectors did step forward to purchase their artwork and the true champion amongst these, was a Parisian art gallery owner named Paul Durand-Ruel, who bought more Impressionist paintings and represented more major artist at the time, than anyone else. Unfortunately, he did not have any major success in selling their oil paintings until two major exhibitions were held in 1886 and 1887, not in France, but in the United States. Paul Durand-Ruel put it very succinctly, "The American public does not laugh. It buys!"
Paul Durand-Ruel's partial list of world artists he represented is a who's who of some of the greatest names in the history of art.
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
Edgar Hilaire-Germain Degas
Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix
Paul Eugene-Henri Gauguin
Armand Jean-Baptiste Guillaumin
Claude Oscar Monet
Jacob-Abraham Camille Pissarro
Pierre Auguste Renoir
Vincent Willem Van Gogh
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