Memoirs of the First Impressionist Art Dealer
Paul Durand-Ruel, Flamarrion, £32
These are the intriguing if fairly dense memoirs of a key figure from the era of the Impressionists, about whom Claude Monet said, “Without him, we would all have died of hunger”.
Durand-Ruel (1831-1922) was an art dealer who, firstly, keenly advocated the Barbizon school of artists, then moved onto promoting and befriending the leading lights of Impressionism. We can only wonder what he would have made of Sotheby’s New York sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in November 2014, which netted the auction house a cool $422 million in a single evening! ★★★