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The impressionists were befriended with several art-critics. They met in Café Guerbois and Café Nouvelles Athènes. Other art-critics were important opponents of the Impressionists. Here you will find the most important. As main sources I use the Lexicon of Walther (R3,p642-705) and the data of Denvier (R5). Additional sources / general references (=R) you’ll find in the references, references to internet pages (=iR) you’ll find here. The names are given in an alphabetical order.


Alexis, Paul (1847-1901):

  • writer and art-critic (R3)
  • Born in Aix-en-Provence; youth friend of Cézanne and Zola (R3)
  • 1869 moves to Paris (R3)
  • takes part at meetings with the Impressionists in Café Guerbois and Nouvelles Athènes (R3)
  • defends the Impressionists (R3)
  • Was being portrayed by Cézanne, Seurat and Zandomeneghi (R3, p644)

Burty, Philippe (1830-90):

  • Art-critic, writer and collector; supported the Impressionists, especially Degas, Renoir and Manet; saw them as a new form of Realism. (R3,p651)
  • Wrote the introduction to the 1875 catalogue of the Drouot auction of the Impressionists (R3,p192)


Castagnary, Jules Antoine (1830-1888):

  • art-critic and politician (R3)
  • defender of impressionism and realism (R3)
  • befriended with Courbet and Baudelaire (writer) (R3)
  • calls Courbet and his followers ‘naturalists’ (R3)
  • he pleads to use the term ‘impressionists’, because these painters ‘don’t render a landscape, but the sensation produced by that landscape’ (R87,p265). So Castagnary is the explicit origin of the term ‘impressionism’ and not Leroy (see below).


Champfleury, Jules Husson (1821-1889):

  • art critic and writer (R3)
  • connections with Courbet and Baudelaire (writer) (R3)
  • 1857: book ‘Le Realisme’ (R3)
  • Meunier connected him with a few impressionists, who’s work he started to collect (R3,p654)


Duranty, Louis Edmond (1833-1880)

  • publishes the journal ‘Réalism’ (R3,p659)
  • regular visitor of Café Guerbois and Café Nouvelles Athènes (R3)
  • 1876/05 publishes the article ‘La nouvelle peinture; à propos du groupe d’artistes qui expose dans les Galeries Durand-Ruel’; consisting 38 pages; much influenced by Degas; describing the Impressionists as the new Realism (R3,p196; R2,p37-49; R5,p94)
  • defends the impressionists (R3)
  • 1877: publishes a novel ‘La peinture Louis Martin’ (R3,p196)
  • portrayed by Degas in 1879 (see 1879-58)


Duret, Théodore (1838-1927)

  • journalist, art critic, owner cognac company (R3)
  • 1865 meets Manet in Madrid (R3)
  • takes part at meetings with the Impressionists in Café Guerbois and Nouvelles Athènes (R3)
  • 1868 starts with Zola republican news paper (R3)
  • 1870 review of the Salon; speaks of impressionists (R3)
  • 1871 loco-mayor of the Paris Commune (R3)
  • 1872 buys impressionist paintings; gives financial support (R3)
    1872, Januar: buys two works of Renoir (400+1200 franc) (R5,p78)
  • 1874 is opposed to an independent exposition and tries to convince Pissarro only to exhibit at the Salon (R2,p106; R3)
  • 1877: three works at the third impressionist exposition are loans of Duret; two of Monet (no.94 +110) and one of Sisley (no.219)
  • 1878 publishes a history about the live and works of impressionist painters: ‘Les peintres impressionnistes; Claude Monet, Sisley, C. Pissarro, Renoir, Berthe Morisot’ (R142;R5,p109; R3,p206). Restricting Impressionism to those artists that are devoted to landscape, colour and open air (painting) (R2,p378). Stating that Cals, Degas and Rouart are not Impressionists (R2,p390). In a later edition he adds Cézanne and Guillaumin as impressionists (R7)
  • 1879: three works of Monet (no. 139-141) at the fourth impressionist exposition are loans of Duret
  • collects post-impressionists (R3)
  • 1882: calls the seventh ‘impressionist’ exhibition the best (R2,p373)
  • 1883, April: writes preface for the catalogue of the Renoir solo exhibition at Durand-Ruel (R31)
  • 1886, April: writes preface for the catalogue of the Durand-Ruel exhibition in New York (R31)
  • 1894 financial problems;
  • 1894/03/19 auction of his collection at George Petit (R3; R31; R5,p194)
  • 1900 onwards: gives his collection to French museums, publishes books on Impressionism (R3)


Feneon, Félix (1861-1944)

  • writer, art critic (R3,p661)
  • 1884 co-founder two magazines
  • 1886 starts the term neo-impressionists while defending pointillism
  • 1886 article ‘the impressionist in the year 1886’
  • 1891 portrait by Signac
  • 1906-1925 director arthouse Bernheim-Jeune
  • works on an oeuvre catalogue of Seurat


Geffroy, Gustave (1855-1926)

  • romancier, historian, art critic
  • defends impressionists
  • 1876 meets Manet
  • 1886 meets Monet
  • 1894 publishes ‘la vie artistique; un histoire de l’impressionnisme’
  • 1924 publishes ‘Claude Monet, sa vie, son temps, son oeuvre’


Huysmans, Joris-Karl (1848-1907)

  • officially: Charles Marie Georges Huysmans
  • symbolist novelist and art critic (R3,p669)
  • defender of impressionists (R3)
  • admires especially Caillebotte, Cézanne, Degas, Forain, Gauguin, Manet and Raffaëlli; criticises the use of blues and purples for rendering shadows; admires German realists like Max Liebermann (1847-1935) and Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905); in 1881 is positive about Pissarro (R3,p227/8)


Leroy, Louis Joseph (1812-1885)

  • painter, print maker, writer and art critic (R3,p675)
  • 1835-1881 exhibits at the Salon (R3)
  • 1864 harsh critic on Manet at the Salon (R3)
  • 1874/04/25 famous article in ‘Charivari’; many emphasize that he was the first to use the term ‘impressionism’, but he only did so in the title, not in his article see (R3;R87)


Mallarme, Stéphane (1842-1898)

  • poet, writer (on Symbolism), art critic (R3,p677)
  • defends impressionists like Manet, Whistler and Morisot (R3)
  • his house at the Rue de Rome is a meeting place (R3)
  • befriended with Renoir, Whistler, Degas and Morisot (R3)
  • 1876/09/23 ‘the Impressionists and Edouard Manet’ is published in the ‘Art Monthly Review’ (R2,px; R5,p95)
  • 1883 begins to admire Gauguin (R3)
  • befriended with Redon (R3)
  • 1892, April: persuades the state to buy Renoir’s  ‘young girls at the piano’ (R31, no.91)
  • 1892, end of the year: Renoir makes a portrait of him (R31)
  • 1898/09/09 death of Mallarmé (R31)
  • 1898/09/11 his funeral; Renoir attends (R31)

Mantz, Paul (1821-95)|

  • admires Monet and Morisot
  • 1882: director of the Academie des Beaux-Arts


Mirbeau, Octave (1848-1917):

  • writer and art-critic (R3,p681)
  • acquainted with most impressionists (R3)
  • befriended with Monet and Pissarro (R3)
  • 1889 presentation of a big Monet exhibition in Gallery Georges Petit (R3)
  • 1891 study about Pissarro in ‘L’Art dans les deux mondes’ (R3)
  • writes about Gauguin (R3)
  • defends the impressionists (R3)


Moore, Georges (1852-1933):

  • irish writer and art-critic (R3)
  • 1873 moves to Paris (R3)
  • meets impressionists in Café Nouvelle Athènes (R3)
  • 1879 Manet makes 3 portraits of Moore (R3)
  • 1880 returns to England (R3)
  • 1886 writes a critic on the eight impressionist exposition (R3)


Renoir, Edmond:

  • younger brother of Pierre-August Renoir (R30)
  • art critic
  • works for La Vie Moderne published by Charpentier (R3)


Rivière, Georges (1855-1943)

  • writer, art critic (R3,p692)
  • publisher and editor of ‘l’Impressionniste’, an art magazine that appears 4 or 5 times around the third impressionist exposition in 1877 (R3,p206; R2,p192)
    1877/04/06 he writes: ‘To treat a subject for the colours and not for the subject itself, that is what distinguishes the Impressionist from other painters (R2,p201)
  • friend of Renoir (R3; R2,p192)
  • 1920 and later: publishes books on Renoir, Cézanne and Degas (R3)


Silvester, Armand (1837-1901)


Wyzewa, Téodor de

  • 1890/11/06 publishes an essay on Renoir in ‘L’Art dans les deux mondes’ (R31)
  • 1891, spring: Renoir stays with the Wyzewa in the Villa des Roses, Tamaris-sur-Mer (R31)


Zola, Emile (1840-1902)

  • writer and art critic (R3,p705)
  • schoolfriend of Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence (R3; R5,p53)
  • 1858 moves to Paris (R3)
  • 1862-66 works with publisher ‘Hachette’ (R3)
  • takes part at meetings with the Impressionists in Café Guerbois and Nouvelles Athènes (R3)
  • 1866 defends Manet in a pamphlet (R5,p53; R3)
  • 1870 starts writing social realist novels (R3)
    He sees the Impressionists as Realists (R5,p53)
  • works for ‘l’Evenement’, a newspaper with articles on modern movements (R3)
    1872-96 publishes daily news on art (R3)
  • 1877 second house in Médan (R3)
  • 1878: Zola was pushing Cézanne to submit to the Salon (R2,p245)
  • 1879/06/19 Zola criticizes the Impressionists of having a bad technique, a hasty production and being satisfied with approaches (R5,p113/4)
  • 1880: his art-critics are published in ‘Mes Haines’ (R5,p53)
  • 1886, April writes the novel ‘l’Oeuvre’, a critical typification of impressionism. The main character is based on Cézanne, Manet and Monet. Shortly afterwards Cézanne ends all contact with Zola. (R3; R5,p53+149)
  • 1898 defender of Dreyfus (R3)