Paul Durand-Ruel

1831 – 1922


Summary: Durand-Ruel started to support the Impressionist in the early 1870’s. 1874 onwards he had financial problems. In the early 1880’s he started to support the Impressionists again, this time on a more regular bases, even when he met in 1882 financial problems again. Organizes many exhibitions, also in London and New York. Durand-Ruel was crucial for the financial survival of many Impressionists and for the promotion of their work in France and on the international art-market. It’s interesting to know whose works he did sell and whose works he didn’t and why. 

In the early 1870s Durand-Ruel showed impressionist works in his gallery in London, without much succes. Since the 1880s he starts to show impressionist works in Paris and at regional and international exhibitions. In 1883 he holds several solo-exhibitions. For the Impressionists Durand-Ruel was crucial for financial support and for becoming known in France and abroad. For an overal view of exhibitions organised by Durand-Ruel click on the link to the page on art-dealers.


info from art-dealer

  • 1851 works in the gallery of his father who supports painters of the Barbizon school (R3,p659)
  • 1865/06/15 takes over the gallery at the Rue de la Paix of his departed father (R3; R5,p35) and continues supporting the Barbizon school (R2,p379)
  • 1869 opens a new gallery at 11, Rue Peletier, Paris (R3)
  • 1870, end: meets in London Monet and Pissarro (R3; R5,p65)
  • 1871, April: opens a Gallery in Brussels (R5,p69+214)
  • 1872 buys many paintings of Manet (R2; R3,p113)
    1872 starts to support Degas (since Januar), Monet (29 works), Pissarro, Renoir (since 1872/03/14; just about 1000 francs) and Sisley (since 1872/03/12) (R5,p72/3; R3,p135 R30; R2,p379)
    by the end of 1873 he had spent >70.00 francs on the Impressionists (R2,p106)
  • 1873: publishes a catalogue ‘Recueil d’estampes’ with 300 reproductions, including 20 of Delacroix, Corot, Millet and Rousseau, 7 of Courbet and Manet and a few of Degas, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley; with a foreword by Armand Silvestre (R3,p113)
  • 1874-80 financial problems; has to sell his obtained paintings (R3, R2,p146)
  • 1875/12: closes his gallery in London (R5,p92); he almost didn’t sell works of the Impressionists in England (R5,p77)
  • 1876/04/01 the second impressionist exposition is organized in his gallery; no financial succes (R3, x)
  • 1878/07/15 exhibition of 380 (or: 360) paintings of Delacroix, Millet, Rousseau, Troyon and others; no succes (R2,p262; R5,p110)
  • 1880 credit of Jules Feder, director of the Union générale banc; starts buying paintings again from Monet, Renoir (since 1881/01; R5,p122), Pissarro (1881/02 for 12.000 franc; R5,p122; R2,p390) and Sisley. Contracts the complete production of paintings in exchange of advance payments that garanties their livelihood (R2,p377; R3)
    In 1881 from Monet (30x), Sisley (20x) (R3, R2,p377)
    1881 onwards he also supports Cassatt (R44,p140)
  • 1880/09 exhibition in Oran, Alger; sends in 233 (most impressionist) paintings (R5,p118)
  • 1882/01/19 bankruptcy of the Union Générale; new financial problems (R2,p377; R3)
    Still he goes on buying works in 1882 from Monet (40x), Sisley (20x) and
    in 1883 Monet (30x), Sisley (>10x) (R2,p391)
  • hard rivalry with George Petit on the art market (R3)
  • 1881/05/18 buys a work of Degas for 5.000 franc (R5,p123)
  • 1882 co-organizes the seventh impressionist exposition (R3)
  • 1884: had to liquidate part of his stock because of worsening financial situation (R2,p422)
  • 1885, Fall: Durand-Ruel had plans for a large group exhibition (R2,p440)
  • 1888 new gallery in New York led by his three sons (R3)
  • 1911 leaves his business to his sons (R3)