By Glyn Hughes
An extra day in Paris
AMBROISE Vollard (1866-1937) was one of the mot influential art dealers in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th century.
He brought many later-famous artists to the public eye and also published prints and illustrated books. From 1914, Vollard
wrote prolifically: monographs (Cezanne, Degas and Renoir), his own memoirs, and several short satirical texts.
Successfully combining his interests in literature and art, he produced handsome art books which were perhaps his most
Apart from the portraits of Vollard himself, all the works shown at Musee d’ Orsay were exhibited, commissioned,
owned or sold by him.
There was a huge queue outside Musee d’Orsay before opening time.
Once inside, however, I found there was plenty of space to enjoy this superb exhibition. Rooms were clearly marked and
the curating was clear and well informed.
Vollard and Cezanne Room 2
Vollard was stunned by the first painting by Cezanne that he saw, as he was still a student, he could not buy the painting
but he thought: "
How nice it must be to be a picture marchand! Spending one’s life among beautiful things like that!" His dream came
true in November 1895 when he organised Cezanne’s first solo exhibition in his gallery.
Almost overnight, Cezanne became a master appreciated not only by other artists but by other artists.
This exhibition marked the beginning of a relationship which launched Vollard’s career and permitted Cezanne to become
the most influential painter of the 20th century.
Vollard and Van Gogh, Room 3
In 1895, Vollard decided to inaugurate his new gallery, at 39 Rue Laffitte, with an exhibition of works by Van Gogh, dead
5 years before.
It was a total failure.
Vollard planned a second exhibition at the end of 1896. Major works were presented from all stage in Van Gogh’s career.
"The public was rather reluctant," noted Vollard, adding that even artists like Renoir and Cezanne considered van Gogh’s
work to be "the painting of a madman".
Degas and Renoir, Room 4
From 1894, Edgar Degas and Auguste Renoir were regulars at the Vollard Gallery.
Ten years later, Vollard managed to acquire several of Degas’s large, colourful pastels.
He published an album of reproductions of Degas’s work in 1914, an appraisal of the artist in 1924 and Paul Valery’s
analysis of Degas’ art in 1938.
Of all the Impressionists, it is certainly Renoir who forged the most enduring bond with Vollard.
During Renoir’s last years, when his hands were crippled with athritis, Vollard persuaded him turn to sculpture.
Gauguin, Room 5
Vollard met Gauguin at the end of 1893.
When the artist returned to Tahiti in 1895, he started to buy his recent works, but the dealer was much ore interested
in Gauguin’s early paintings or his private collection of Cezannes and Van Goghs.
In 1896 Vollard, exhibited Gauguin’s large Tahitian paintings.
Realising he needed a dealer, Gauguin made an arrangement with Vollard early in 1900.
The dealer paid him a monthly allowance plus a sum for each canvas, but Gauguin died in exile three years later.
Vollard and the Nabis Room 6
In his Recollections, Vollard wrote: "About 1893, I was put in touch with the Nabis by Maurice Denis, who had noticed the
little exhibition of Manet’s drawings I was holding at the time.
“Thanks to this meeting, I obtained pictures from Bonnard, Denis, Roussel and Vuillard."
He also commissioned an album of prints from each of his young painters.
Vollard and the Fauves, Room 7
A few days after the closure of the Salon d’Automne of 1905, Vollard brought the entire contents of Andre Derain’s
The following year, in 1906, he also made significant purchases from other Fauve artists.
It was only in 1906, when Matisse started to interest critics and collectors, that the dealer managed to acquire 20 paintings
by the artist but by then Matisse had decided to work with other dealers
Georges Roualt had a long and satisfying relationship with Vollard.
Vollard and Picasso, Room 8
The relationship between Vollard and Picasso was long and varied. The first contact came in 1901.
Vollard offered Picasso his first exhibition in Paris, but as usual refused to buy the works that were not sold.
When Leo and Gertrude Stein started to collect Picassos, Vollard made several important purchases from him.
And did those feet?
WELL, whoever can? With art galleries being closed for the summer holidays and the heat rising every day I started looking
for a pair of light shoes and ended up with two.
Spike (who has a Welsh accent), at 18a Onasagorou Street, Nicosia had the blinds drawn to keep out the blazing near-noon
sun but the place was still as bright as an afternoon on the beach. The shoes however were surviving.
A marching array of beauties of all kinds.
Lots of sole.
There were enough contemporary styles to make all those one-person shows in art galleries very envious and as for the mixed
exhibitions? Easily the best in town.
The Power House? Get walking.
The shoes at Spikes’ although of a tremendous array of individuality all walked together.
These shoes were made for talking -about.
It was as if EKATE (Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts) were on the march.
Horns with agility. Laces for getting knotted. Heels divine, males too.
Marvellous small sculptures they were and always in pairs.
A couple of Michelangelo’s David’s barefoot sandals for toddlers would not have been amiss.
A rainbow of flip flops.
Raspberry silk lined, delicately spiked running shoes. Sometimes the arrangements went their own way.
A glossy female pump appeared to be chasing a dark Olympic sprinter. A rich brown leather pair had an array of incisions.
Neat and exciting, Here texture was out for the day Flowers suddenly sprouted.
A garden below the ankle. Wedges had been shaped as if Anthony Gormley was entering the Curving Olympics. Surrounds of
slippers had stories to tell as if Cinderella was having a ball. Art on the move. Brilliant.