circles of friends

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Circles of friends




The Impressionists can be seen as circles of friends. What circles can we discern? Who were most active within these circles? Who connected these circles? On this page you’ll find a resumé. For the general references see . For the references to internet pages see.




Degas (and Rouart):

  • Degas and Rouart were youth friends.
  • Degas introduced the most people to the ‘impressionist’ expositions. In 1874 Degas, but being his teachers maybe more Rouart (iR1), invited Brandon and Levert (R3,p401) and De Nittis (R3,p650+136,+138). In 1877 Maureau (R3,p199) and Tillot. In 1879 Marie Bracquemond, Cassatt, Forain and Zandomeneghi. In 1880 the two Raffaëlli’s, Vidal and Vignon (R2,p257+425; R5,p115).

Pissarro, Cézanne, Guillaumin and Gauguin;
And: Béliard, Piette and Vignon;
And: Lucien Pissarro, Schuffenecker, Seurat, Signac and Redon

  • Pissarro, Cézanne and Guillaumin followed lessons at Academie Suisse (R3,p644)
    Monet also followed lessons from 1860 till early 1861. Together with Pissarro, but not with Cézanne who joined April 1861 (R22,p25/6).
    Béliard also followed lessons in 1860, together with Pissarro (iR4). So was Piette.
  • They meet and paint together in Pontoise where Pissarro lives from 1866-83 (R3,p689) They are called the school of Pontoise; Béliard and Vignon also were part of it (R17,p178/9).
  • Guillaumin and Pissarro maintained a particularly close friendship (R17,p204).
  • Pissarro invites Béliard in 1874, Piette in 1877 and Gauguin in 1879 to join the ‘impressionist’ expositions (R3,p138+199+224). In 1886 (stimulated by Guillaumin) he invited his son Lucien Pissarro, Seurat and Signac. Guillaumin himself invited Redon and Schuffenecker (who is also befriended with Gauguin) (R2,p423/5+440).
  • In 1884 Guillaumin, Redon, Schuffenecker, Seurat and Signac were co-founders of the Salon des Indépendants .


Monet, Renoir and Sisley (and Bazille):
And: Monet, Boudin, Cals
And: Renoir, Cordey, Franc-Lamy and Desboutin

  • They followed lessons within the atelier of Gleyre (1862-64)
  • They painted together in Fontainebleau.
  • Monet and Renoir would paint together in 1869 in La Grénouillère
  • Bazille would stay active within this circle until his death in 1870
  • They painted together in the early 1870’s in Argenteuil where also Manet and Caillebotte would join.
  • Probably it was Monet who introduced his old inspirator Boudin to the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874.
  • It was Monet who invited Cals to the ‘impressionist’ expositions (R3,p652).
  • In 1877 Renoir would introduce Cordey and Franc Lamy to the third impressionist exposition (R3,p199). They and Goeneutte and later Desboutin formed a group that was inseparable (R82,p22-23 ;iR4). It’s remarkable that the first three painters were 13 or 14 younger than Renoir (R31,p211).  Georges Rivière (art-critic and his later biograph,R82), Lhote (a journalist), Gervex (a painter), Lestringuez (a civil servant) also were part of this group. They mingled in Renoirs studios at the Rue Saint-Georges, 35 (1873-82) and at the Rue Cortot (1875-6) and posed for him in his ‘Moulin de la Galette’ , ‘La balançoire’, ‘Under the arbor’, ‘the artists studio’ (1876) and other paintings (R4,p161-6;R31,p211+297/8;R30,p100).