Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market

Author(s): Sylvie Patry


One of the most forward-thinking art dealers of all time, Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) played a crucial role in the rise of French Impressionism. This book explores how Durand-Ruel discovered, exhibited, and shaped an audience for Impressionist paintings at a time when they were not yet appreciated. Durand-Ruel first encountered key Impressionist painters in the early 1870s and guided many of their careers for decades. A passionate advocate of the Impressionists, he established personal ties with these artists and developed new markets for them by opening branches of his Paris gallery in London, Brussels, and New York. Featuring essays by leading scholars, this handsome volume provides a biography of the man and the trajectory of his career. It also examines his relationships with artists and buyers and his groundbreaking business practices, such as embracing the idea of the solo show, publishing art reviews, and paying artists stipends-often at great financial risk and personal cost to himself.
Illustrated with archival documents, historic photographs, and paintings by artists such as Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among others, this major contribution to the study of art and commerce transforms our understanding of the development of Impressionism.


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Sylvie Patry is chief curator at the Musee d'Orsay. Christopher Riopelle is curator of post-1800 paintings and Anne Robbins is assistant curator of post-1800 paintings, both at the National Gallery, London. Joseph Rishel is Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900 and Jennifer Thompson is The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Flavie Durand-Ruel is the great-great-great granddaughter of Paul Durand-Ruel. Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel is the great-great grandson of Paul Durand-Ruel.

General Fields

  • : 9781857095845
  • : National Gallery Company Ltd
  • : National Gallery Company Ltd
  • : March 2015
  • : 280mm X 229mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 304
  • : Hardback
  • : Sylvie Patry