Title page for ETD etd-03292004-181506

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Regan, Marci
URN etd-03292004-181506
Title Paul Durand-Ruel and the Market for Early Modernism
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Art
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mark J. Zucker Committee Chair
H Parrott Bacot Committee Member
Leslie Koptcho Committee Member
  • Paris
  • art market
  • collectors
  • dealers
  • impressionism
  • New York
Date of Defense 2004-03-15
Availability unrestricted
This thesis examines the art sales and marketing of Impressionism in

the late nineteenth century, focusing on the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.

Throughout the nineteenth century in Paris, the Académie des Beaux-Arts

wrote the history of art by supporting certain artists who followed its

ideas of what art should look like. The artists that the Academy chose to

support had lucrative careers; they were offered commissions from both the

church and state to paint grand historical pictures. Throughout the

nineteenth century and until World War II, Paris was the artistic center of

the world, and the birthplace of many avant-garde groups. Forward-thinking

artists gathered together in the city to discuss their ideas about the

development of contemporary art. The first of these modern movements

comprised a small group of artists who in the 1860s abandoned their

traditional Academic training to be allowed the freedom to paint in their

own chosen style. These artists defined themselves in opposition to the

Academy, which had complete control over artists' careers at the time, and

in so doing were forced to find their own ways to make a living. The

Impressionists' independent spirit created a need for dealers free of the

Salon's constraints who would institute a new outlet for the display of

works of art. Paul Durand-Ruel supported these artists by paying monthly

stipends in advance for work produced to allow them to continue creating

work. He created an intimate gallery setting which showed the individual

work and artist more than the Salon setting, in order to cater to a new

audience. He did not rely on the Salon for authorization, as dealers had

done before him, and this decision has influenced the way private dealers

and artists function to the present day. This thesis traces the

Durand-Ruel Gallery from Paris to New York, and along with it the

introduction of Impressionism to both French and American audiences.

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