Paul Durand-Ruel, shown above in his gallery in 1910, acquired some 5,000 impressionist works — long before others were buying them.
Dornac/Durand-Ruel & Cie/Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Paul Durand-Ruel, in full Paul-Marie-Joseph Durand-Ruel, (born October 31, 1831, Paris, France—died February 5, 1922, Paris), French art dealer who was an early champion of the Barbizon school artists and the Impressionists. A determined and ambitious entrepreneur, Paul Durand- Ruel became a precursor on the international art market, establishing a network of galleries in Paris, London, Brussels and New York and organising numerous international exhibitions.
He recognized the artistic and fashionable potential of Impressionism as early as 1870, and his first major exhibition of their work took place at his London gallery in 1872. Eventually Durand-Ruel had exhibitions of Impressionism and other works, at his Paris and London galleries. He also brought their work to New York, where his three sons, Joseph, Charles, and George, ran the gallery on a daily basis, in the early days alternating established New York artists with French impressionists, and doing much to establish the popularity of Impressionist art in the United States.
During the final three decades of the 19th century Durand-Ruel became the best known art dealer and most important commercial advocate of French Impressionism in the world. He succeeded in establishing the market for Impressionism in the United States as well as in Europe. Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, are among the important Impressionist artists that Durand-Ruel helped to establish.
Dimitrie Berea's exhibition took place at the Durand Ruel Gallery in Paris in 1963 and was entitled "Shapes and colors. 10 years since the Coronation of the Queen of Great Britain ". Berea presented paintings painted in London on the occasion of the 1953 Coronation, as well as paintings and graphics made in France, all full of color, rising to the value and appreciation of the exhibitions of his predecessors, Impressionist artists, those wonderful artists whom Durand Ruel has dedicated his whole life, believing in them, promoting them, supporting them whenever necessary and bringing them to the center of attention of art lovers, regardless of the era and the times we live in.