Musée d'Orsay: From Cézanne to Picasso, Masterpieces from the Vollard Gallery

From Cézanne to Picasso, Masterpieces from the Vollard Gallery


Paul Gauguin
 Paysannes bretonnes [Breton Peasant Women]
 Oil on canvas
 H. 66; W. 92.5 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay, donation by Max and Rosy Kaganovitch, 1973
Paul GauguinBreton Peasant Women© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
A pioneer among late nineteenth-century art dealers, Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939) played a decisive role in the development of Modern Art until the early decades of the 20th century. Thanks to his intuition, his talent for business and his boldness, he has achieved a special place in the art market by his passionate defence of unknown or "banned" artists. In particular Vollard was the first to organise a one-man exhibition devoted to Paul Cézanne in November 1895; he exhibited the Nabis and he supported several young painters such as Derain and Rouault. His enlightened investments now seem incredibly far-sighted.

Vollard maintained a special relationship with each of "his" artists, whilst his extraordinary sensitivity enabled him to discover the unique talent of each. In particular, he encouraged Maillol and Renoir to produce sculpture.

Moreover, the way he developed relationships between creators, great collectors and other art dealers gave the small world of Parisian art an international dimension.

Finally, Vollard also played a crucial role in the world of publishing, which was then undergoing profound changes. He published many albums of original lithographs and "artists' books". He was also the author of monographs on Cézanne, Degas and Renoir, not to mention the account of his memories.

All these activities make Vollard a true promoter of Modern Art and one of the major figures of the art world of his time.


Anne Roquebert, curator, Musée d'Orsay, with the collaboration of Isabelle Cahn, archivist, Musée d'Orsay.

Exhibition produced in conjunction with the Réunion des musées nationaux and organised with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, also presented from September 13, 2006 to January 7, 2007 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and from February 17 to May 13, 2007 at the Art Intitute of Chicago.

19 June - 16 September 2007
Musée d'Orsay

Temporary Exhibition Galleries


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