Have you ever wondered why a few artists become crazy popular and most other equally qualified, not?
We just returned from a long weekend in London where Nancy and I saw at the National Gallery, ‘Inventing Impressionism’ Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market.
Paul Durand-Ruel was a Parisian art dealer who, from the 1860’s to 1913, virtually made the Impressionists. These painters, such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, were painting in a new style which people scorned and dismissed. They broke with tradition, which is never popular.
Durand-Ruel saw something no one else did ….. so, very speculatively, he bought much of their work in bulk, paid them monthly to keep them going and cornered the market in these paintings the populous rejected. Then, over decades, in a very disciplined and thoughtful manner, controlled pricing, gave them group and solo exhibitions, promotions, and other exposure.
That is how one man, almost single handedly, made the Impressionists what they are today, one hundred years later, so wildly popular.
See, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
Attached are a few of my AC 868 and AC 857 sketches.