Inventing Impressionism
印象派伯樂


“Without him”, said Monet, “We wouldn’t have survived.”
“沒有他”莫奈說,“也就沒有我們。”

Photograph of Paul Durand-Ruel in his gallery, taken by Dornac, about 1910

Photograph of Paul Durand-Ruel in his gallery, taken by Dornac, about 1910

This spring, the National Gallery presents the UK’s first major exhibition devoted to the man who invented Impressionism, Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922). An entrepreneurial art dealer, Durand-Ruel discovered and unwaveringly supported the Impressionist painters and is now considered a founding father of the international art market as we know it today.

This ground-breaking exhibition lifts the veil on the pivotal figure that discovered Monet, Pissarro, Degas and Renoir in the early 1870s, immediately buying their works when they were still largely ignored or ridiculed. The dealer became the most courageous backer during its early decades of struggle, dedicating his entire life to making the creative journey of the Impressionists a success story.

With great artistic flair and extraordinary commercial insight, Durand-Ruel developed revolutionary business strategies, such as exclusivity, and one-man shows of ‘his’ artists. He turned his Paris-based business into a global firm, staging countless exhibitions around the world and reversing the fortunes of the Impressionists. Beyond his work as a dealer and gallery owner, Durand-Ruel also assembled a personal collection of paintings which he exhibited in his apartment where he often welcomed visitors, as it allowed him to showcase the work of the Impressionists in a more domestic and intimate setting.

Inventing Impressionism follows the key events of Paul Durand-Ruel’s career in a broadly chronological order; these are intrinsically linked with the rise to fame of the Impressionist painters. The exhibition will present a series of rarely-seen portraits of the dealer and his children painted by Renoir and exhibited in the UK for the first time. Other highlight paintings will include no less than five paintings from Monet’s ‘Poplars’ series and all three of Renoir’s famous ‘Dances’.

Paul Durand-Ruel was 89-years old when he declared: “At last the Impressionist masters triumphed … My madness had been wisdom. To think that, had I passed away at sixty, I would have died debt-ridden and bankrupt, surrounded by a wealth of underrated treasures…”

春至,一位印象派的傳奇人物將造訪英國國家美術館。他既不是流派創始人也非印象派大師,而是一位特立獨行的藝術經紀人。他是推動印象派發展的中堅力量,更被視為當今國際藝術市場的開創者——保羅•杜朗-盧埃爾(Paul Durand-Ruel)(1831-1922)。

《印象派伯樂》這個俱有開拓性的展覽向大眾揭開了這位幕後功臣的面紗。在19世紀70年代初期,眼光獨到的他先后發現了莫奈(Monet)、畢沙羅(Pissarro)、德加(Degas)和雷諾瓦(Renoir)超乎常人的天賦,當這些畫家仍是無人問津的小人物時,杜朗-盧埃爾毫不猶豫地買下了他們的畫作。在早期的奮戰中杜朗-盧埃爾是印象派最強大的後盾,他傾盡了一生來推動印象派從邊緣走向藝術的輝煌。

憑著獨到的藝術鑒賞力和卓越的商業頭腦,杜朗-盧埃爾發展了一套革命性的經營策略,如獨家代理、代理藝術家個展等。他把巴黎本土業務擴張成跨國企業,在世界各地舉辦了無數次展覽,徹底扭轉了印象派的命運。除了作為藝術經紀人和畫廊主,杜朗-盧埃爾還是一位資深的收藏家。他將自己的公寓打造成印象派的展示空間,以更個性更親民的方式呈現給訪客。

《印象派伯樂》按時間順序展開,以杜朗-盧埃爾的職業生涯為主線,從本質上來說似乎更像是一部編年史,記載著印象派日益壯大的史實。展覽在英國首次呈現雷諾瓦為杜朗-盧埃爾及其孩子們創作的肖像系列,其他亮點還包括莫奈“楊木”系列和雷諾瓦最為人稱道的“舞蹈”系列。

89歲高齡的杜朗-盧埃爾曾感嘆到:“印象派大師們終於贏得了戰役……我的一切瘋狂行為是明智的。如果我60歲就去世了,那時候的我肯定是債務纏身,身邊堆滿了無價之寶卻無人知曉……”


Tips 小貼士

展覽場地:National Gallery英國國家美術館
展覽時間:04.03.2015 – 31.05.2015
更多信息:www.nationalgallery.org.uk