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Impressionist Dealers and Collectors

Rebecca Virag on the people who created markets for the works of Monet, Degas, Cézanne and Renoir

Rebecca Virag

Monet and Degas

Cézanne and Renoir


Bourgeois: Middle-class

Salon: French annual exhibition (held from the 17th-century onwards) of painting and sculpture. It was a state-sponsored exhibition, where an artist could hope to gain critical recognition or official patronage. Traditionally hostile to innovation.

Émile Zola: French novelist and critic (1840–1902). He was the leading exponent of literary naturalism in France and knew Manet and Cézanne. His novels include Nana (1880) and Germinal (1885).

Pierre Bonnard: Bonnard (1867-1947) adopted the Impressionist style in the mid-to late 1890s and was influenced by the mature work of Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin.

Rococo: Elegant, decorative style of c.1730-80.

Reading list

Anne Distel, Impressionism: The First Collectors, pub. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 01/12/1990 www.amazon.co.uk

John House, Impressionism for England: Samuel Courtauld as Patron and Collector, pub. Yale University Press, 10/06/1994 www.amazon.co.uk

Patricia Mainardi, The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic, pub. Cambridge University Press, 01/11/1994 www.amazon.co.uk

Author's Biography

Rebecca Virag is an independent art historian based in Cambridge. She studied nineteenth-century French and British art and architecture at Reading University and later, at post-graduate level, at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She has recently completed a Ph.D. thesis at the Courtauld Institute about the impact of evolution theory and eugenics on the work of British artists working in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century.

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